The Post Office has advised beneficiaries of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to withdraw funds at ATMs as workers have announced that they, along with Telkom employees, are embarking on a wage strike.
On Thursday, the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) announced that the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the Democratic Postal and Communications Union (DEPACU) and the South African Customs Union (SACU) would be shutting down the Post Office and Telkom branches.
Communication Workers Union, DEPACU & SACU will join forces tomorrow; the 6th of July 2018 as they shut down The South African Post Office and Telkom. They will be gathering at the Mary Fitzgerald Square at 9am in Johannesburg. CWUStrike Fin24 MorningLiveSABC eNCA JacaNews pic.twitter.com/mM9aVIKt4i
— COSATU Today (_cosatu) July 5, 2018
On Twiter, videos have surfaced of SASSA beneficiaries crowded outside of a post office in Johannesburg.
— Thuba Vilane (thubao) July 6, 2018
It appears that no assistance can be provided to them via the post office since workers have downed their tools and are in the process of shutting down all postal and communications services.
Telkom's involvement is not clear at the moment, even though in the communication shared by COSATU, announcing the commencement of the strike, they included South Africa's biggest network provider.
Last week, SASSA left about 700,000 grant beneficiaries frustrated after the agency was not able to process any payouts due to system issues and other technical problems.
Kgomoco Diseko, who is the spokesperson of SASSA, issued a statement saying that "we sincerely apologize for what happened. We encourage people to enlist for the new SASSA card because by the end of September the old card will not be working".
The grants agency said that it was confident that payouts would be processed from Friday, 6 July 2018.
However, in a tactical move, the unions have ordered all staff members to down their tools and it seems like another week is set to go by with no progress on the issue of beneficiaries receiving their money.