Post office complaint

Lorna Veldsman, from Woodlands,

I recently went to withdraw the disability grant money of my son Jody Veldsman, 30, at the Post Office at Westgate Mall, which I normally do.

My son is bedridden, mentally and physically disabled.

The woman behind the counter refused to assist me.

She said that I needed a procurator, from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), a letter from Sassa stating that I have permission to withdraw my son’s money.

I had both my and his identity documents and his Sassa card, which she did not even look at.

I told her, he is bedridden and incapable of managing his own funds, but to no avail.

She insisted that I either have a letter or that my disabled son come into the branch.

How can she tell me to bring him there if I do not even have transport for myself?

I must go there when it’s suitable for me to make the trip because I’m his primary caregiver. I have to lock him up, when I collect his grant money.

I just want their poor service exposed as this is unacceptable.

I stormed out and sought assistance elsewhere.

She referred me to the automated teller machine (ATM) and to Checkers.

Checkers assisted me.

This was the first time I ever experienced this.

Johan Kruger, spokesman for SA Post Office, responds:

When a beneficiary accesses their Sassa grant at a Post Office counter, we need to positively identify the person before payment is made.

Further, if the person does not use the personal identification number (PIN) to withdraw, we use the biometric verification, a fingerprint reader, to establish the identity of the person beyond any doubt.

If a caregiver is responsible for a disabled beneficiary, she or he should be correctly identified as the approved procurator.

The normal award letter from Sassa would identify this person as such an approved procurator. This ensures that the grant does not land in the hands of the wrong person.

The Post Office suggests that your reader visits her nearest Sassa office to obtain the required letter from Sassa, as the Post Office teller was following the correct procedure.