Security guard at King William’s Town Sassa office tests positive for COVID-19

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A security guard at the South Africa Social Services Agency (Sassa) office in King William’s Town, in the Eastern Cape, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The office has since been closed for decontamination and the security guard is currently in isolation.

“We felt that we had to take the necessary precautions that are set by the Department of Health so that we try and flatten the COVID- 19 curve and to ensure the safety of the staff. However, we apologise for the inconvenience caused,” says Sassa Eastern Cape Spokesperson Luzuko Qhina.

Long queues on the first day of social grant payments 

The Sassa in the province, on the other hand, expressed satisfaction regarding the manner in which social grant beneficiaries have been conducting themselves on Monday. Thousands of elderly and disabled recipients in Mthatha came in their numbers on the first day of social grant payments, wearing masks and observing social distancing.

“There’s this virus that forces us to do whatever we are told to do by the authorities. We are so scared of it. This one is more dangerous than the diseases we’ve heard about. We are anxious. We do as we are told because we want to protect our lives,” some of the grant beneficiaries said.

“The South African Social Security Agency is very happy with how our elderly and the disabled beneficiaries that are today receiving their social grant,  the manner in which they have complied with the COVID-19 regulations. They all have put on their masks and they are keeping their social distance. We want to remind them that they don’t have to withdraw all of their money today and their money is safe in the cards. They can always withdraw it at any given time,” says Regional Director Reverend Luzuko Qina.

Law enforcement officers and OR Tambo Municipality officials were also had their hands full, ensuring that the regulations were being observed.

Some streets were closed to ensure the smooth running of the payment process.

Sassa in Eastern Cape pleased with Level-4 regulations compliance

Despite Sassa making it clear that today is for the elderly and disabled beneficiaries, other recipients also came out in droves. They were joined by OR Tambo Mayor Thokozile Sokhanyile.

“Many people are here to get their grant even these people who are getting the child support grant. They are in the lines. Hence we are making queues for them for the social distance to be observed. And when it comes to money the people they simple forget about coronavirus and the regulations attached, hence you are seeing us in-between the people,” says Sokhanyile.

Child support and foster care grant beneficiaries will be receiving their money from Wednesday, May 6.

In the video below, the elderly queue for social grants: