…By Roland Peterson for TDPel Media.
Two ex-tellers employed by the South African Post Office (SAPO) in Butterworth, Eastern Cape, have been arrested for their alleged involvement in stealing R4.1 million intended for South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant beneficiaries.
The arrest was made during a joint operation conducted by the Hawks, post office, and National Prosecution Authority (NPA) on June 29.
The suspects, aged 32 and 45, worked as tellers at the post office and were responsible for SASSA payments at the Cash Pay Point.
Grant Theft Raises Concerns and Calls for Action
The Democratic Alliance (DA), South Africa’s official opposition party, expressed concern over the pervasive nature of theft within the post office system across the country.
While commending the recent arrests, the DA emphasized the urgent need to prevent such crimes from occurring in the first place.
Natasha Mazzone, the party’s Shadow Minister for Communications, highlighted the negative impact of over 300 post office closures in the past three years.
She further lamented that the remaining post offices are often dysfunctional and in a state of disrepair, posing challenges for SASSA beneficiaries who must travel long distances to collect their monthly allowances.
Urgent Call for a Secure and Efficient Grant Payment System
In light of these developments, the DA called for the establishment of a “secure and fraud-free” system for SASSA grant payments that ensures swift delivery of funds to beneficiaries.
Mazzone emphasized the need for immediate action to alleviate the burden faced by SASSA recipients.
The current financial state of the Post Office, which is partially liquidated with an unclear path to recovery, further underscores the necessity for swift intervention.
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