In light of the 21-day lockdown, social security agency Sassa announced last Monday that grants for the elderly and those with disabilities would be paid out on 30 and 31 March, slightly earlier than usual.
However, the process of allocating grants only to the most vulnerable was not as easy as it was made out to be by Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu, Sassa CEO Totsie Memela, acting MEC Panyaza Lesufi, and Communications and Digital Technologies Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams.
A nine-second clip, reportedly CCTV footage from Mega Philani Mall in Umazi, Durban south, depicts the chaos currently reigning across some Sassa waypoints.
It shows a massive crowd rushing towards the paypoint, and not all citizens in the video were old or disabled.
— Orrin Singh (@orrin417) March 30, 2020
By 9.30am on Monday morning, Sassa said about R1 million in grants had already been paid at Post Offices, ATMs and retail stores across the country.
— Jurie Blignaut (@kluisenaar) March 30, 2020
Public transport protocols were relaxed to accommodate beneficiaries, and are allowed to operate from 5am to 9am, and again from 4pm to 8pm, on Monday and Tuesday.
But this message may not have filtered through to all drivers, with eNCA reporting that some beneficiaries were not able to collect their payouts due to a lack of public transport. Others have been stranded, with no way to get home.
In Tembisa, pensioners were seen stuck in long queues, some arriving as early as 5am.
Another Sassa paypoint in Cape Town reportedly ran out of cash, and had to send beneficiaries home to return on Tuesday.
In Port Shepstone, however, paypoint processes seemed to be running smoothly.