Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, expressed satisfaction with the second day of social grants payout, but raised concern about inadequate public transport.
Scores of pensioners and people living with disabilities collected their social grants for the second day on Tuesday, after the Department of Social Development made a provision for them to access their monies earlier than the normal date.
This was to accommodate the country's nationwide lockdown that's underway since last Friday, meant to reduce the spread of COVID-19 or novel coronavirus.
“Things are moving smoothly at the places we have visited so far and people are adhering to the social distancing themselves. They don’t need to be pushed by anybody to doing it. I am happy with what I have seen so far,” said Zulu.
There were long queues at social grants paypoints at Attlyn Mall but the physical distancing protocol was observed at most of the stores around the mall.
Zulu, Ministers of Communication, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams and Gauteng acting MEC for Social Development, Panyaza Lesufi, visited a paypoint at Attlyn Mall in Atteridgeville on Tuesday.
The minsiter said she was disappointed that there are less minibus taxis available to transport beneficiaries despite Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula’s intervention to relax lockdown regulations for three days.
“There is quite a reduced number today, which is manageable but we are currently in Atteridgeville, so the picture here might be different from other areas in the country. But what I am seeing here is really manageable. However, we might be having transport problems so there is a possibility that we have less numbers here because we might be confronted with these transports problems,” said Zulu.
The Minister also took the opportunity to convey a message of condolence to families that lost their loved ones when they went out to collect their social grants on Monday.
“I would like to send my condolences to the families of the three pensioners who passed away while they where on the queues to collect their social grants. In fact one, in the Western Cape was already going home. There one was from KwaZulu-Natal who was still waiting on the queue and the one in Pimville in Soweto was just arriving and getting out of the taxi when she collapsed.
We would really like to send our condolences to the families. The department, SASSA and the Post Office in the province ...we are working on ensuring that the families are supported," said Zulu.