CoronavirusSA: Pensioners struggle to receive grants

Health-e News observe social distancing as country enters level 3 of Natinal lockdown:CREDIT(Luntu Ndzanze/Health-e News)
Written by Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

As the younger generation flocked to cash pay points to receive their grants, it was the elderly and others who were disadvantaged. Many pensioners braved the long wait because they needed the money to guy groceries.

Despite the call for people to refrain from overcrowding shops and cash pay points to allow pensioners and people who are disabled to receive their grants earlier than normal on March 30 and 31, most South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) pay points were on Monday congested by young and able South Africans. 

A long wait 

Pensioner Mavis Sadiki tells Health-e News that she has been waiting in the queue for a long time at Phangami shopping complex outside Thohoyandou: “I have been queuing here since the morning but the line is very slow. If I had money to buy essential food, I was not going to be here but I have no choice as I need the money to buy food. Over the weekend we were told that it was going to be only us, the elderly [in] the queues but now if you look around, it’s full of young people,” says Sadiki. 

Disheartened that the call was not heeded 

Sassa district manager in Vhembe, Azwihangwisi Magadagela says they are disappointed by young people’s  behaviour. 

“Our call was for pensioners and people who receive a disability grant to be allowed to collect their grants on Monday and Tuesday this week but it seems like most of our young people are not following the call. They have overcrowded pay points at shops, instead of allowing elders and people [who are] disabled to receive their grants first. We are very disappointed in the manner in which our young people are conducting themselves making it difficult for our disabled and pensioners to get their grants peacefully,” says Magadagela.

Magadagela confirms that all types of grants were paid on Monday, even child and foster care grants. “All beneficiaries were deposited their grants on Monday but we are still pleading with other beneficiaries to allow our pensioners and [people who are] disabled to queue first and get their grants,” he says.

No need to worry about non-payment 

Magadagela says they will be going to all 99 villages within the Vhembe district to pay grants using their mobile pay-points. “From Friday we will be going to our villages to pay grants. We are calling on some of our pensioners and all other beneficiaries not to panic about standing in long queues at the pay points as we will be bringing their grants to the comfort of their villages. We are also aware that some people are worried that they will lose their money if they do not get it today or tomorrow, which is wrong as they can still get their money even if its next month,” he says.

Limpopo Premier, Stanley Mathabatha has deployed several MECs across the province to ensure that precautionary measures are being followed at all the pay points. Social development MEC, Nkakareng Rakgoale says that they will be working tirelessly to ensure that about 2.5 million beneficiaries of social grants gets their money before April 20. – Health-e News


For more information on Covid-19 in South Africa, you can call the toll-free line on 0800 029 999, or you can send a message that says “Hi” on WhatsApp to the number 060 012 3456. You can also visit the SA Coronavirus website

About the author

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho

Ndivhuwo Mukwevho is citizen journalist who is based in the Vhembe District of Limpopo province. He joined OurHealth in 2015 and his interests lie in investigative journalism and reporting the untold stories of disadvantaged rural communities. Ndivhuwo holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media Studies from the University of Venda and he is currently a registered student with UNISA.