PHOTO: postoffice.co.za
PHOTO: postoffice.co.za
The Post Office said it had already paid out social grants to beneficiaries to the value of R4.4 billion. Photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
The Post Office said it had already paid out social grants to beneficiaries to the value of R4.4 billion. Photo: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Post Office (Sapo) on Tuesday said it had already paid out social grants to beneficiaries to the value of R4.4 billion, in 7.4 million transactions across the country, for the current payment cycle alone.

The Post Office said the payments started on Monday.

Group chief executive Mark Barnes said this compared with R1bn paid out in 2.8 million transactions, when the Post Office started in July.

“I was, however, at Jabulani Mall in Soweto yesterday, and there were still some problems with long queues, inadequate seating for the elderly, and isolated system downtime and delays, which I experienced first-hand. Sapo apologises for these circumstances,” said Barnes.

Barnes said in order to deal with higher volumes at peak times in the payment cycle they issued a directive across the country to deploy non-critical function employees to branches and pay-points to support beneficiaries and deal with any issues that may arise on the ground, immediately

“We have increased staff capacity at the nerve centre at head office, improved our management information system, deployed further portable computers and cellphones across Sapo’s national footprint, instructed Sapo branches to remain open after normal office hours, to serve beneficiaries, expanded our relationship with SAPS to increase security; and improved dignity services,” said Barnes.

Barnes said the Post Office was determined to stand up and deliver on its South Africa Social Security Agency mandate.

- AFRICAN NEWS AGENCY (ANA)