SASSA Acting CEO Pearl Bengu has expressed concern following an armed robbery at a pay point in Seplan near Cala in the Eastern Cape where beneficiaries of social grants were paid on Tuesday.
This incident came three days after an apparently different gang plundered cash about to be placed in an ATM in Cacadu (formerly Lady Frere) that dispenses social grants money, SASSA acting spokesman Moabi Pitse said.
Six heavily armed men accosted the security guards who were loading the ATM at the pay point and constrained them so that they could take the money and cellphones. They were also stripped of semi-automatic rifles and pistol.
“We are comforted that no beneficiary was harmed during the robbery and everyone at the pay point was safe. However, we view such actions by criminals as hazardous to our beneficiaries and appeal to law enforcement agencies to act swiftly to arrest the criminals. The payment process resumed without delay as CPS managed to replace the cash that was stolen by the robbers on time to ensure that no beneficiary left the pay point without receiving their grants due to the robbery”, said Bengu.
Bengu further said that SASSA takes the safety and wellbeing of all beneficiaries as a priority at pay points and will work closely with the payment contractor to ensure that security details around these facilities are amplified so that beneficiaries are paid in secure environments at all times.