Cape Town - Gun-toting robbers stormed a social grants collection centre in Athlone on Saturday morning and made off with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Police are searching for three men who fled the scene in a blue Volkswagen Golf. Shots were fired in the parking lot of the Gatesville shopping centre shortly after the robbery but police did not elaborate on this.

“One of the men remained at the door whilst two went up to the cash office and found one female staffer who they threatened with a firearm and demanded money,” police spokesman Colonel Tembinkosi Kinana said.

Dozens of social grant beneficiaries were reporting to the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) “merchant” at Shoprite. Reports indicates beneficiaries, some of them pensioners, chased after the robbers - fearing their monthly grants were being stolen.

Sassa spokeswoman Shivani Wahab said the pay-out of social grants would not be affected.

Cape Argus