Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu says payments of grants, notwithstanding a few glitches, went well across the country.
She says challenges experienced included overcrowding and the late arrival of cash at some paypoints.
Zulu was speaking at a media briefing of the National Command Council cluster in Pretoria.
” Some of the challenges that we faced yesterday ( Monday) was overcrowding and long queues was the key challenge experienced across payment value chain particularly in shopping malls and retail outlets. Child Support Grant beneficiaries also came in large numbers despite the call for dedicating 30th and 31st. Social distancing compliance and application of hygiene guidelines required improvement.”
In the video below, Minister Lindiwe Zulu along with other Minister’s brief the media on the fifth day of the lockdown:
Second day of social grants payments in Eastern Cape
The second day of South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) social grants payments was better for the elderly and disabled people at Mthatha, in the Eastern Cape.
Queues at ATMs subsided quickly, compared to long queues that lasted until late afternoon on Monday.
Unlike Monday, queues to get money from the Post Office and ATMs ended before 11 o’clock in the morning. However, queues to supermarkets seemed to have gained momentum as hundreds of social grant beneficiaries wanted to do their groceries before going back home. Law enforcement officers were kept busy controlling the crowds to ensure they practice social distancing.
“I stood in the queue for two and a half hours to get to the ATM. Now I’m in the queue to the grocery store to buy food because I’m so hungry,” said one of the recipients.
On the other hand, taxi operators say they are struggling to transport passengers due to the limited number of persons they must carry. Taxi owner Mxhosa Sobazile says the 21-day lockdown has hit the taxi industry very hard.
“We are struggling, we used to carry 15 passengers but now due to the regulations we carry only seven. We are not making any profit. Besides petrol, we need to buy spares for our cars. We pay installments for our cars but where are we supposed to get that kind of money if we are not making money here?”
SASSA in the Eastern Cape has made provisions to bring social grants closer to communities, to reduce the influx to towns for payments.
“As from this coming Friday, our people will be coming out to 498 pay-points, to pay our people until the 4th of April. We are also engaging with different stakeholders to discourage people from coming in big numbers. Even tomorrow, up until we conclude the April payment cycle, our staff members will be out in big numbers ensuring that we provide quality services to our people, under human conditions and also ensure that all COVID-19 measures are employed,” says Provincial Head of SASSA Bandile Maqethuka.