October marks the start of the parastatal taking over payments for the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) and phasing out Cash Paymaster Services. A Botrivier resident, who asked not to be named, said that she went to the post office to collect a child grant on behalf of her daughter but, when she got there, there was no money left.
The post office told her that they had had to turn a number of people away. This prompted her to ask her sister to collect the money at the Pick * Pay in Caledon the next day.
But travelling to another town to receive the social grant is difficult.
According to the woman, people would need to hire a car or pay for a taxi to get there. The distance to Hermanus from Botrivier is 34.6km, and to Caledon it is 25.2km.
Vernon Hendricks, chairperson of the Western Cape Older Persons Forum, said untimely payments “seems to be mostly restricted to rural areas and this mostly happens when monies are not paid over timeously to the service providers”.
Hendricks said delays forced social grant recipients in rural places to go to loan sharks or hire transport to take them to the nearest bigger town. The inconvenience has serious implications. “Someone needs to take responsibility for this,” she said.
Sapo spokesperson Johan Kruger said they have made the necessary changes to prevent late payment.“We have adjusted our prediction cash for cash requirements at a few pay points, including Botrivier.
"We also want to point out that beneficiaries can withdraw cash free from any supermarket and ATM.”