KZN social welfare MEC calls on beneficiaries to avoid queues after pensioner dies in line

KwaZulu-Natal pensioner Thembisile Njapha collapsed and died while waiting in a social grant queue at the Hammarsdale Post Office, outside Pietermaritzburg, on Monday
KwaZulu-Natal pensioner Thembisile Njapha collapsed and died while waiting in a social grant queue at the Hammarsdale Post Office, outside Pietermaritzburg, on Monday
Image: South African Gov‏ via Twitter

KwaZulu-Natal MEC for social development Nonhlanhla Khoza has called on grant recipients to collect social grants at a time when there are shorter queues at pay points.

This follows the death of 63-year-old Thembisile Njapha on Monday. The pensioner collapsed and died in a social grant queue at the Hammarsdale post office, outside Pietermaritzburg.

“We want to assure our people they will all get their pensions. There is no need for all of them to rush to banks, retailers or cash points to collect their grants as payments will remain in their accounts. A grant beneficiary can collect at any suitable time to avoid jostling in long queues,” Khoza said.

Khoza said Njapha was declared dead on the scene by paramedics after officials at the pay point placed her in a wheelchair and moved her to a holding area while waiting for an ambulance.

“We regret the passing away of a grant beneficiary while in the queue. This incident occurred on the first day of pension payouts to the elderly and people with disabilities. It's a very sad incident,” said Khoza.

The department has since located Njapha's family. Khoza said a team of social workers has been assigned to be in contact with the family.

Khoza called on grants beneficiaries to follow advice given to them by the department of social development and the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) as the payment of grants continues.

“We want to see our communities safe from contracting Covid-19. It is therefore important to stick to the regulations put in place by the President Cyril Ramaphosa,” Khoza said.


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