Sassa beneficiaries without cash following robbery at post office

SA Post Office building. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)
SA Post Office building. (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) beneficiaries were left stranded after the Maitland Post Office was robbed of an undisclosed amount on Monday, Cape Times reported.

According to Western Cape police spokesperson Captain André Traut, the circumstances surrounding the robbery are being investigated by police.

"Three armed suspects fled with cash and are yet to be arrested," Traut reportedly said. 

Post Office spokesperson Martie Gilchrist told Cape Times its security measures had been improved since it embarked on the Sassa project.

"Staff have received trauma counselling. The office is not in a position to confirm any amount that was taken. The police investigation is not yet finalised," she reportedly said. 

"We regret the inconvenience to beneficiaries, and we would like to point out that the gold Sassa card also gives beneficiaries the option of accessing their cash at any ATM or supermarket."

Police investigation

Gilchrist told Cape Times that the Post Office was not operational on Monday and it should be reopened on Tuesday should the police indicate they have completed their investigation.

At around 09:00 on the same day, three criminals hit the Kraaifontein Post Office, EWN reported

It's unclear whether the same trio executed both crimes.

The police's Noloyiso Rwexana reportedly said: "Three armed men entered the Kraaifontein Post Office and forced the employees to hand over an undisclosed amount of money; no shots were fired during this incident."

Sassa and the South African Post Office started rolling out payments to social grant beneficiaries at the end of September last year, News24 reported.

The collaboration has not been without glitches. 

In January, Sassa voiced its concern following an advertisement on Facebook by a man who claims to be "selling" Sassa cards.

"Sassa and the South African Post Office are currently working with the police to get to the bottom of this matter and are following leads that should result in the arrest of what seems to be the mastermind behind this scam," Sassa spokesperson Paseka Letsatsi said in a statement at the time.

This followed an advertisement on Facebook in which one Thabiso Cele was offering to sell Sassa cards on Facebook.

The cards were offered at prices ranging from R600 to R1 200 and claimed that buyers would receive R400 per month or R1 400 per month respectively, News24 reported

READ: SCAM ALERT: No, you can't buy Sassa cards on Facebook

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