Shoprite eyes millions of grant recipients amid SAPO liquidation

 ·20 Apr 2023

As the South African Post Office (SAPO) faces possible liquidation, Shoprite is encouraging Sassa beneficiaries to switch to its Money Market Accounts to ensure they receive grant payments.

Speaking with eNCA, Shoprite’s general manager of financial services, Jean Oliver, said that over five million Sassa gold cards are set to expire in the next three months, leaving them at risk of missing out on their grant payments given the timely process of renewing such cards.

“Our call [Shoprite] to grant recipients is don’t wait for your cards to expire. Come to a Checkers, Shoprite, or USave, and apply for a Money Market Account, allowing you to use your Xtra Savings card to withdraw your Sassa grant at your closest store,” he said.

He added that several benefits for Sassa beneficiaries come with using a Money Market Account, the main advantage being efficiency.

“Beneficiaries will have their payouts deposited straight into their Money Market Account – removing the need to travel and waste time in long lines to receive their money,” said Oliver.

Additionally, grant recipients can withdraw the cash in-store or buy goods, airtime, and data using their phones or Xtra Savings card.

Shoprite has supported the Sassa grant payouts for several years, including the child and elderly grants, pensions, and the Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD).

Shoprite currently has over two million Money Market consumers and plans to add as many Sassa beneficiaries as possible to its growing consumer base, with an initial target of 18,000 beneficiaries to make a move.

SAPO was placed in provisional liquidation this month following a creditor approaching the Pretoria High Court to recover back rent. Legal experts from Barnard Inc Attorneys noted that the company is technically insolvent. However, a final liquidation order has not yet been issued.

SAPO has appointed provisional liquidators to manage its assets, verify creditors’ claims, and collect debts. Private companies are now competing with the failing entity as the legacy institution struggles to adjust to new consumer demands and awaits another bailout.

Despite its challenges, the minister of communications and digital technologies, Mondli Gungubele, said that the SAPO has developed a bankable strategy to transform the entity and make it profitable for business once again – a new strategy suited to this age and time.

He said that if the entity was given an opportunity and the necessary support, the Post Office could safely navigate the situation it finds itself in and renew itself as a digital services platform.

Read: Big jump in profit for Capitec – which counts one-third of South Africans as customers

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