South Africa: President Sends Condolences After Three Pensioners Pass Away

President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed sadness at the passing away of three elderly social grant recipients in the vicinity of three different payment centres around the country on Monday.

In the Western Cape, a 74-year-old male, who had received benefits at Vangate Mall, Athlone, died on Jakes Gerwel Drive while on his way home.

In KwaZulu-Natal, a 63-year-old woman collapsed in queue at the Hammarsdale Post Office.

In Gauteng, a 66-year-old woman collapsed shortly after disembarking from a taxi near the Pimville Post Office, where she was due to collect her grant.

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) made payments earlier than usual this month to help beneficiaries cope with the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) national lockdown.

President Ramaphosa has offered his sincere condolences to the families of the elderly persons, who passed away.

"It is very sad that we have lost three senior members of our community on a day that government provided services earlier than usual for the benefit of the most vulnerable people in our society.

"This is a difficult time for all South Africans and the loss of these three elderly persons reminds all of us to take the best care we can of vulnerable people around us," said the President.

The Department of Social Development, together with the SASSA, will immediately assist the families of the victims and provide material and psycho-social support through the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Programme.

The Department of Social Development has also expressed appreciation for the offer by ASSUPOL to assist with funeral arrangements for the deceased.

President Ramaphosa has stressed that beneficiaries need not immediately rush to banks, retailers or cash points to collect their grants, as payments will remain in beneficiaries' accounts.

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