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Power outage at Diepsloot post office delays social grant payouts

Pensioners are being santised at the Post Office in Diepsloot Mall while waiting to recieve their grants
Pensioners are being santised at the Post Office in Diepsloot Mall while waiting to recieve their grants
Image: Thulani Mbele

The payout of Sassa grants for pensioners and the disabled has temporarily come to a halt on Monday morning as the post office at the Diepsloot Mall is experiencing electricity problems.

According to a post office official, who did not want to be named, the area had been experiencing power outages since Sunday night.

"At this stage it is not clear what the cause of the power outage is; we have been told by a local councillor that power has been going on and off since last night," she said.

Mary Mogano, 73, had been in the queue for more than an hour. "It is frustrating but because we need the money, there is nothing we can do, we have to wait, they said they will pay us using our identity documents," she said 

Pensioners were waiting patiently in the queue and have been given chairs to sit on. They are also been sanitised as they go inside the post office to mitigate against the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Miki Moreki, 82, a grandmother of five, said they have heard about coronavirus and seen the reports. "We are scared of this virus, we don't know much about it, but we appreciate the efforts of our government to protect us, especially the elderly. We can only pray to God to protect us," she said 

Minister of social development Lindiwe Zulu has been visiting Sassa pay points in Alexandra, Soweto and  Eldorado Park in Johannesburg. She was due to also visit Diepsloot but has cancelled her trip due to time constraints as she needs to brief  President Cyril Ramaphosa.

The payouts of Sassa grants has been brought forward to an earlier date to avoid congestion at pay points. On Monday, only pensioners and the disabled are being paid out their social grants.

Public transport working hours for buses and taxis have been extended for this week from 5am until 8pm at night.

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