ACCOUNTABILITY AT THE HEART OF TRUST
Article by Lindiwe Karosa
It is with great regret that two elderly citizens died while trying to get their SASSA grant payouts.
An elder in Pimville collapsed just as she got to the pay point and the other, collapsed while sitting in the queue at Kwa-Zulu Natal.
This day has also been filled with mixed emotions as some SASSA social grant recipients were able to obtain their payouts, and others not so fortunate.
Social grants were opened today for pensioners and people living with disabilities as a means to lessen the numbers of people at SASSA pay points. Recipients received these news well as this would enable them to purchase their essentials sooner, and would also serve to be safer for them.
Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu spent the day visiting various pay points, especially in areas where a large influx of people were expected. She assured the nation that payments were running smoothly, and was happy with how officials were implementing the department’s plans.
However, a supermarket pay point in Cape Town ran out of funds and this left the elderly disappointed as they waited in lines from the wee hours of the morning. The elderly recipients were advised to rather come in to purchase groceries and return tomorrow to withdraw their balances, or alternatively – leave and try again tomorrow.
Not only has the Covid-19 and the national lockdown created mass panic across the country as reflected in some citizens’ behaviour, the elderly were also subjected to standing in long queues at taxi ranks and at SASSA pay-points.
This brings us to the question, how can the elderly, with medical conditions that put them at a higher risk of contracting the virus amidst this Covid-19 pandemic?