SA Post Office to investigate cashiers allegedly charging R350 grant recipients R50 to jump queues

09 May 2022 - 12:07
By Unathi Nkanjeni
Covid-19 social relief of distress grant beneficiaries queue outside a post office in East London. File photo.
Image: Sino Majangaza Covid-19 social relief of distress grant beneficiaries queue outside a post office in East London. File photo.

The SA Post Office (Sapo) says it is investigating cases where its workers are allegedly charging R350 social relief of distress grant recipients R50 to jump queues.

Several recipients accused post office cashiers, allegedly working in cahoots with security guards, of charging them R50 to jump long queues to collect their R350 payments.

Speaking on SAfm, Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said they were aware of the allegations and an investigation was in progress.

“When we get a complaint like that it is investigated very thoroughly. We have a dedicated investigation unit, consisting of former police officers, who get to the bottom of this,” said Kruger.

He said in most cases, Sapo discovered that those who were charging recipients R50 to jump queues were not cashiers but self-appointed queue marshals who are members of the public.

Kruger said Sapo does not know if some of its cashiers are getting a cut from the R50 and is investigating the matter.

SA Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) general manager Fanie Sethokga urged beneficiaries who usually use the postal service for their transactions to use a supermarket or ATM to collect their payments.

“You are not compelled to go to a post office branch or continue receiving your money at a post office. You can change and get your money alternatively, either at a supermarket or ATM,” said Sethokga.

He advised beneficiaries to report self-appointed queue marshals to Sapo’s toll-free crime buster hotline on 0800-020-070.

Previously, Kruger told TimesLIVE the behaviour of these "marshals" was illegal, and charges may be brought against those responsible.

“No Sapo employee or other individuals have the right to ask beneficiaries to pay any fee to be serviced and/or to receive preferential treatment by jumping a queue,” he said.

“Customers are advised not to pay the fee demanded by any Sapo employee, queue marshal or any other person requesting such a payment, and should consider laying a charge of bribery and corruption at their nearest police station.

“There is close co-operation between the post office’s security and investigations unit and the police, and formal charges will help put a stop to this opportunistic and unethical behaviour. It should be noted Sapo does not have jurisdiction over the behaviour of members of the public outside post office property.”