Sassa to share grants payment schedule with police amid wave of Post Office robberies
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Durban - The South African Social Security Services (Sassa) will now share its payment schedule with the South African Police Services, following a spate of Post Office robberies that happen during the days of social grants and pension payouts.
On Thursday KwaNdengezi Post Office near Pinetown was robbed by armed suspects who fled the scene with an undisclosed amount of money, 49 Sassa cards and two laptops.
Sassa spokesperson Sandy Godlwana said five armed men allegedly pointed guns at the teller after she was dropped off at the back entrance in the morning, and instructed her to open the gate and the door.
“We are bringing in SAPS for assistance with monitoring hotspots, in terms of big pay points so that there’s enough visibility of police and security at those hotspots.”
KwaZulu-Natal Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele confirmed the incident.
“It is alleged that an employee was opening the business premises at KwaNdengezi area when she was confronted by a group of armed suspects who instructed her not to make any noise,” Mbhele said.
She said the suspects forced an employee to open the safe at gunpoint.
“They took an undisclosed amount of cash, laptops and a cellphone before fleeing the crime scene on foot,” Mbele said.
A case of robbery was opened at KwaNdengezi police station for investigation.
KwaNdengezi post office was the third KwaZulu-Natal Sassa payout point to be robbed, three weeks in a row.
Last week, a substitute team had come to the rescue of traumatised Post Office employees after an armed robbery in Howick offices.
According to police, a group of armed suspects confronted an employee after they had gained entrance through a small open window. They locked the staff in the parcel office after taking their cellphones and an undisclosed amount of cash.
Police said that the docket in this matter would be taken to Hawks for further investigations.
Last week, there was a burglary at the post office in Glencoe where SASSA confirmed that R120 000 was stolen as well as two laptops with grant application systems and Sassa payment cards and
Grant beneficiaries were referred to the Dundee Post Office to collect their grants.
The last two incidents came as Sassa grants were being paid out to older persons throughout the province.
At the time, Sassa said it was concerned about the rise in numbers of break- ins at post offices with the intention of stealing Sassa cards.
It also said that there was an emerging trend or scam where funds were withdrawn from the cards of beneficiaries without their consent and it was suspected that this involves duplicating beneficiary cards then clearing out their legitimate accounts.
New social grant applicants were encouraged use private bank accounts.