No social distancing at pay-points

Jane Furse

On Monday, one of the elderly who was at an overcrowded queue to collect social grant money, was left injured when people were pushing one another to enter the gate with force and rushed to the nearby hospital to sustain injury.

This comes after security personnel attempted to alleviate overcrowding queue of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) beneficiaries at Jane Furse complex.

It is alleged that a security personnel was trying to keep crowd a one metre distance (social distancing) from one person to another when incident occurred.

SASSA pay-point was made on Monday and Tuesday to accommodate the elderly and persons with disabilities, ahead of the usual date.

According to eye witness some people were not adhering to the regulations imposed during lockdown which is why the incident occurred.

SASSA beneficiary, Moipone Mankge, who is also street vendor, said nationwide lockdown affected his family badly. Moipone said she realised the R1, 800 monthly grants would not be enough to feed her family of four children and four grant children.

“Some of the challenges we are experiencing are overcrowding, long queues, non-compliance to social distancing and late arrival of money in some areas,” said Social Development minister, Lindiwe Zulu.

Zulu said she was happy because majority of grants were cooperating and taking precautions to curb the spread of coronavirus. She also urged young people to be patient in the queues and to allow pensioners to be helped first.

“Moving forward we will look into better ways to avoid the long queues at the social grants pay points and improves the system in order to make the system easily accessible and much faster,” said Zulu.

 Another SASSA beneficiary, Jonas Malaka said young people made queue uncontrollable. He said young people had no intension to give space to receive their grant in peace.

“I watched news and I heard that they will allow young people start from Wednesday, and today is Monday but they are here with us,” he muttered.

According to the latest general household survey results released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) over 17, 8 million people rely on social grants. Approximately 31% of South African depends on grant out of 59,30 million populations.

Thapelo Motseo

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