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Grant recipients urged not to pay bribes to self-appointed post office queue marshals

Social grant beneficiaries queue at a post office. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency (ANA)

Social grant beneficiaries queue at a post office. Picture: Itumeleng English/ African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 10, 2022

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Pretoria - The SA Post Office has urged recipients of the R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant not to fall victim to self-appointed queue marshals at their offices by paying bribes to be taken to the front of the line.

The public facility cautioned grant beneficiaries against paying bribes to "self-appointed" queue marshals often located outside of their offices, as it announced the opening of the new round of applications for the R350 grant recently.

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Johan Kruger, the SA Post Office spokesperson, said the new round of applications had put the spotlight on incidents where members of the public were paying bribes to self-appointed queue marshals outside post offices to be taken to the front of the queue.

Kruger cautioned against this practice as he said the payment of a bribe to such persons outside their offices constituted a criminal activity that should be reported to police in the area.

"Anyone who is exposed to this practice should collect as much evidence as possible and report the incident to the police. Anyone with information is also welcome to contact the post offices' toll-free crime hotline as all reports are followed up."

Kruger urged beneficiaries to consider using the new application app as it also included an option where beneficiaries could receive their grant from various retailers such as Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers, or U-Save supermarkets.

He said any individual who had used his or her phone to apply only for their own grant and chose the post office as a collection point, could also indicate when they apply that they would like to withdraw their grant from any of the aforementioned retailers

In addition,customers were also advised against visiting their local office to check for the payment of their R350 grant as the post office indicated that they could do so online on the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) link provided.

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"Post offices have two separate queues, one for customers who receive the Covid-19 grant and one for other transactions. This ensures the shortest possible waiting time for all customers," he added.

The R350 grant was introduced by the government in May 2020, in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic which spun the country and world into unprecedented social and economic challenges, and weakened and undermined the survival strategies of low to no-income individuals and households who battled to endure financial hardship during the national lockdown.

President Cyril Ramaphosa also announced in the 2022 State of the Nation Address that the special Covid-19 social relief grant would be extended from April 1 this year until March 31 2023.

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