The South African Post Office (Sapo) has issued a warning to beneficiaries of the R350 Covid-19 Special Relief of Distress (SRD) grant not to pay for a spot to jump ahead in queues.
In a statement released on Monday, the Post Office said it was aware of instances where queue marshals ask beneficiaries who visit their branches a fee to book a place in the front of the queue.
“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. Such practices are illegal,” Sapo spokeperson Nobuhle Njapha said.
Njapha advised customers not to pay the queue-hopping fee demanded by Sapo employees, queue marshals or any other person requesting a payment.
She also urged grants recipients to report or open a case 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 SA Police Services [Saps], and formal charges will help put a stop to this opportunistic and unethical behaviour.
“It should be noted that the Post Office does not have jurisdiction over the behaviour of members of the public outside Post Office property.”
Njapha added that recipients of the R350 Covid-19 relief fund do not have to visit their local post office every month.
“They can choose to have their grant paid into a Postbank account and use their Postbank card to access the grant.”
No vaccine, no R350 grant
Meanwhile, the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) has dismissed the “no vaccine, no R350 grant” rumours.
Reports had recently suggested Sassa was instructed to prioritise vaccinated beneficiaries when the R350 grant payouts commenced, with claims that it had been given access to a database of people who have registered for vaccination and those who had already been vaccinated.
It was further suggested that vaccinated people would be paid first, followed by those who had registered for vaccination while those that had not even registered would not receive the grant at all.
R350 grant reinstatement
Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the reinstatement of the R350 grant to assist citizens who have no means of supporting themselves during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ramaphosa said the R350 grant would continue to be paid out until the end of March 2022 and it was extended to eligible unemployed caregivers who currently receive a child support grant.
The decision by government to reinstate the monthly grant comes after deadly civil unrest rocked parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng two weeks ago, reigniting the debate over the introduction of a basic income grant.