Cape Town - More than 30 South African Post Office (Sapo) branches across the Western Cape province were shut down on Friday afternoon as a result of striking workers.

The shutdown of Sapo offices has contributed greatly to the failure of the Social Security Agency of South Africa's (Sassa) grant payment operation in recent days. The failure saw about 700 000 people being affected by not getting their money across the country.

Sassa migrated to a new payment system operated by Sapo, which Democratic Alliance member of Parliament Bridget Masango, earlier on Friday has regarded as “very badly planned and horrible uncoordinated”.

About 17 million South Africans are beneficiaries of state grants that include child support, dependency and foster child care. Thousands of pensioners have complained that they have not been able to withdraw their money at designated pay points with their new cards since Sunday.

During an interview on Friday afternoon, Masango said they were collecting information on payment improvements and update on food parcel process across the country.

“Colleagues seem to think things went well as people were withdrawing money from ATMs, those who did not have the new cards are the ones who were affected but they did not see many of those,” said Masango.

She said she was still expecting feedback from colleagues in Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, KwaZulu Natal and North West.

African News Agency/ANA