South Africa: Social Grant Payouts Marked By Chaos for Elderly at Pay Points


Day one of social grant payouts for the elderly in parts of the Western Cape saw chaos as the elderly queued for hours at major retails stores with some collapsing and some opting to leave. In the Eastern Cape, quick thinking brought an end to early morning grants chaos.

The frail, those in wheelchairs or propped by walking sticks and crutches were shown little respect by younger shoppers who competed to get first into line at Shoprite and Pick n Pay in Atlantis.

At some shops, pleas by the elderly and infirm to be given preferential treatment fell on deaf ears. It was heartbreaking to witness the suffering etched on their faces while waiting patiently, often in pain, to draw their social grants.

Monday 30 March 2020 was the first opportunity for thousands of grant recipients since the 21-day lockdown began to draw money and do some shopping to sustain them for weeks to come.

In Atlantis, 66-year-old Angeline van Wyk had been standing in the queue since 6.30am at Shoprite. She collapsed after an hour and a friend who was also standing nearby called her daughter.

"I'm not a very healthy person and I cannot stand too long. I...

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