Hard blow for hawkers

EISH: Hawkers say Sassa's decision to pay out social grants at electronic pay-points will harm their business. Pic: MOYAHABO MABEBA. 12/10/2009. © Sowetan.
EISH: Hawkers say Sassa's decision to pay out social grants at electronic pay-points will harm their business. Pic: MOYAHABO MABEBA. 12/10/2009. © Sowetan.

THE decision to pay pensions and grants at banks and post offices is threatening the livelihood of many hawkers who ply their trade at township and rural pay-points.

Some traders at these pay-points describe the decision as "an economic blow" since their customers will now go elsewhere.

Limpopo SA Social Security Agency spokesperson Kelemogile Moseki said the agency had called on beneficiaries to consider utilising different payment methods as stipulated by the Social Assistance Act.

"As a social grants disbursement agency we have noticed the unfavourable conditions at various pay-points where elderly people have to endure the unbearable experience of standing in long queues without chairs, water, toilet facilities, shelter and sometime in bad weather conditions," Moseki said.

He said they advised those who are able to use electronic banking to consider post offices and ATMs as options.

"We particularly appeal to beneficiaries living in urban and rural areas where electronic payment facilities such as post offices, banks and mini ATMs are accessible to consider these options," he said.

But hawker and single mother of three Mosebjadi Legodi of Moletji near Seshego said she has been making a living by selling brooms, fruit, vegetables and other items at pension pay-points.

Legodi said: "We understand what they (Sassa) are trying to do, but this will affect our livelihoods negatively since many people will opt for electronic payment methods."

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