Social grant recipients in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, have expressed mixed feelings over the precautions that the government put in place at pay-points in the township.
The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) has decided to pay social grants to the elderly and persons with disabilities earlier than normal this month, due to the nationwide lockdown.
Other beneficiaries will be able to access their grants from 1 April. There are long queues in many townships as the elderly and the disabled flock to pay points.
Meanwhile, thousands of elderly people and people living with disabilities have travelled by bus and taxi from the rural areas around Mthatha in the Eastern Cape from as early as one o’clock on Monday morning to collect their social grants.
Long queues have formed at every ATM in the town. Beneficiaries using ATMs are very happy and are now waiting for the shops to open. However, the beneficiaries that are paid through the Post Office are still waiting in the queue and many of them have fallen asleep.
“I arrived at one, I wanted to be number one, I am happy that I am here, I will grab my cash and go home early,” says one recipient.