FLOODS BLOCK social GRANTS
HUNDREDS of destitute people who depend on government social grants are yet to receive their money since the floods in Mpumalanga.
Pensioners, mothers and people with disabilities have been waiting for their grants for a week.
The Mankele villagers have literally been cut off from the rest of the world because their only passage to the outside world was blocked by raging water.
The village has no public phones because there is no network. There are also no shops, post office, police station or clinics in the area.
Villagers depend on shops in Penge or Burgersfort for their needs.
To get there, they must first cross the Lepelle River, which has been overflowing since last week.
Sowetan reported last week about the dire situation villagers and pupils are faced with.
Pupils were for the most part of last week unable to attend school.
The flooded river also affected social grant beneficiaries who expected to get their money on Monday.
"Our hopes turned into a fallacy when we could not get a message from our chief that we must prepare for the visit of officials from the department," said Christina Nchabeleng, one of the beneficiaries.
"We are now faced with hunger because all we had for January has been exhausted."
Nchabeleng said her family had been without food since last week.
She said she had hoped that she would be paid her pension grant this week to buy food for the family but this did not happen.
Nchabeleng said last year officials from the department delivered food parcels and their grants using a helicopter to bypass the flooded river.
South African Social Security Agency spokesperson Kelemogile Moseki said talks were at an advanced stage with the Cash Paying Master - a company disbursing grant payments on behalf of the department - to see to it that the beneficiaries were getting prompt assistance.
Moseki said there were about 561 beneficiaries waiting to be assisted in GaMokgotho and several other villages around Mankele.