Post Office stops distributing R350 grants, supermarkets step in

Social grant recipients queue for hours in the hot sun outside the main Post Office in Pietermaritzburg.
Social grant recipients queue for hours in the hot sun outside the main Post Office in Pietermaritzburg.
PHOTO: Moeketsi Mamane
  • The SA Post Office will no longer pay out R350 Social Relief of Distress grants from its branches.
  • A new application process includes other options where beneficiaries can collect their grants.
  • Sassa beneficiaries who receive old age, disability or child grants can still collect their grants from any post office.

The South African Post Office (SAPO) says it will no longer distribute R350 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grants from its branches.

A new round of applications for the grants opened late last month.

The SAPO said the revised application process "now includes an option where beneficiaries can receive their grant from any Pick n Pay, Boxer, Shoprite, Checkers, or USave merchant".

"The SA Post Office strongly advises beneficiaries to include this option. Post Office branches will no longer pay out SRD grants," the national postal service said in a statement on Tuesday.

SAPO added that people who have already reapplied for the SRD grant can still select the option to collect their grants from any of the partner retailers.

The Post Office explained:

Log on to and respond to the security SMS you receive on your phone. You can then include merchants in your application and submit the updated application.

In addition, beneficiaries must have their own cellphone number to enable them to receive their grants at supermarkets.

Lastly, beneficiaries will be helped with the resetting of their PINs for their cards at the pay points.

Grant beneficiaries who receive old age, disability or child payments from the South African Social Services Agency (Sassa) can still collect their grants from any Post Office branch.

READ | Under new rules, fewer people will qualify for R350 grant

The R350 SRD grant was initially introduced as part of a range of measures the government introduced to support the recovery of the economy and to provide relief to poor and vulnerable people affected by regulations that were imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

The grants were extended to March 2023 under new regulations gazetted by Minister of Social Development Lindiwe Zulu in April. Under the new regulations, the new income threshold is lower at R350. Anyone earning an income above that will not qualify for a grant, Fin24 reported.

GroundUp reported that seven million people applied for the SRD grant within the first week after the application period reopened.

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