We help woman, 63, 'put food on my table'

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) in Limpopo has promised to help an elderly woman who has not had an identity document for almost 11 years apply for a government grant.

Moduba Agnes Maanaso, 63, of Makhwibidung, Tzaneen, lost her ID in a fire that destroyed her home in 1996.

At that time she was only in possession of a dompas, the old apartheid reference book.

Maanaso has been to theDepartment of Home Affairs to apply for a new identity document, but without success.

As a result, she cannot apply for the government's old-age pension grant.

Her plight first appeared in Sowetan earlier this year. Maanaso had hinted that she had considered committing suicide because she couldn't get her ID. She couldn't bear to see her peers queuing for their grants while she was being denied hers.

It was after the publication of her story in Sowetan that the Department of Home Affairs intervened.

Officials at the department went to her home to deliver the document two weeks ago. Then Sassa, the agency that administers social security grants on behalf of the government, entered the picture.

The agency's provincial spokesman, Innocentia Mpe, told Sowetan yesterday that they were working around the clock to ensure Maanaso was registered to get her grant.

She said they would send officials to Maanaso's home to confirm she had received the documents to apply for the grant.

Mpe said that once Maanaso had the documents it took only a few minutes to verify them and ensure that she qualifies for the government grant.

"I'm optimistic that once we have seen the documents and are satisfied that everything is in order she will receive her first grant at the end of June," she said.

The news came as sweet music to Maanaso's ears.

When Sowetan contacted her yesterday the elderly woman could not hide her excitement.

"I can't wait for my first grant. Hopefully life will change for the better for me now because I'll be able to help put food on the table," she said.