Pensioners welcome smaller queues for payment of social grants

Pensioners queue outside the Primrose Post Office. They thanked government for separating their payment dates from that of the child grant as this reduced the queues.
Pensioners queue outside the Primrose Post Office. They thanked government for separating their payment dates from that of the child grant as this reduced the queues.
Image: Penwell Dlamini

Pensioners have thanked the government for splitting payment dates in order to reduce long queues at various pay points for social grants across the country.

At the post office in Primrose, Germiston, the queue for the social grant payments was short and each beneficiary spent about 20 minutes waiting for their money.

Nosinare Titimane, 63, of Makause informal settlement, said things were going well for the pensioners on Monday.

“Everything is going smooth. I believe it is because those who get the grant for children are not coming today. That has made a huge difference. The queue is small and we don’t have to wait for a long time. It really helped us to separate the payment dates.

“If there were people receiving child grants here, things would have been really bad,” she said.

Titimane said she had already made the adjustment of staying at home since the beginning of the national lockdown on Friday.

“I try to stay at home as much as possible. The only time I get out is when I need something from the shops,” she said.

Her friend Bongeni Mavundla,71, also from Makause, had a different experience of the lockdown. Mavundla sells traditional beer in the informal settlement and has been forced to close as per the instruction of the government.

“I’m really struggling. I cannot sell my traditional beer to anyone. All the drinking joints are closed. I cannot take any chances and sell. I have really lost a lot of money due to the lockdown,” Mavundla said.

She told Sowetan that while all the taverns in Makause were closed, there were people who were still secretly selling beers to the community at exorbitant prices.

“I cannot risk that. The police can come at anytime in the area,” she said.

At Shoprite in Primrose, another pay point, the queue was a little longer but was moving quite quickly. Chairs were provided for the elderly to sit on and they were constantly monitored by staff to ensure everything was running smoothly.

Police were also present as the shop has had long queues of people since the beginning of the national lockdown.

Pensioners got their money and immediately went to the shops to buy their groceries.

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