R350 SRD grant sassa

People queuing outside a post office to collect their R350 SRD grants.
Photo: Mkhuseli Sizani/GroundUp

SASSA R350 grant: Post Office urges people not to pay for place in queue

‘Customers are advised not to pay the fee demanded by any Post Office employee, queue marshals or any other person requesting such a payment.’

R350 SRD grant sassa

People queuing outside a post office to collect their R350 SRD grants.
Photo: Mkhuseli Sizani/GroundUp

The South African Post Office (SAPO) said it has become aware of instances where “queue marshals” ask customers who visit branches to pay a fee to be taken to the front of the queue. It has been well documented that beneficiaries of the COVID-19 Social Relief for Distress (SRD) grant fall victim to this practice most often.

POST OFFICE URGES CUSTOMERS TO REPORT BRIBERY

SAPO said none of its employees or any other individual has the right to demand payment from beneficiaries in exchange for services or preferential treatment by jumping the queue. “Such practices are illegal,” said SAPO in a statement on Tuesday, 16 November.

“Customers are advised not to pay the fee demanded by any Post Office employee, queue marshals or any other person requesting such a payment.” The Post Office urged customers to consider laying charges of bribery and corruption at their nearest police station.

SAPO believes formal charges will put a stop to opportunistic and unethical behaviour, adding that there is close cooperation between the organisation’s internal security and investigations unit and the police.

“It should be noted that the Post Office does not have jurisdiction over the behaviour of members of the public outside Post Office property,” said SAPO.

In October, GroundUp visited the main Post Office in Mthatha, Eastern Cape. According to the report, security guards and “self-appointed residents” acted as queue marshals. Beneficiaries told reporters that people who object to marshals helping “clients” skip the queue or reserve spaces are threatened with violence.

The marshals, however, begged to differ and said they are providing helpful service and creating employment for themselves.

READ: SASSA grant beneficiaries are paying R100 of their R350 to jump the queue      

Customers can report postal crime or crimes allegedly committed by SAPO employees to the toll-free crime-buster hotline on 0800-20-070.

Alternatively, an email can be sent to tipoff@postoffice.co.za