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Zulu: Day one of social grant payouts going smoothly

Several steps have been taken to ensure social distancing, with grocery trollies being placed between people to ensure a meter distance between those who queue for grants.

Social distancing is enforced at a shopping centre where social grant recipients are collecting their payouts on 30 March 2020. Picture: @The_DSD/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said that so far, the first day of the early distribution of social grants was going smoothly.

The minister visited several pay points in Alexandra and in Soweto to assess the process.

Several steps have been taken to ensure social distancing, with grocery trollies being placed between people to ensure a meter distance between those who queue for grants.

Zulu said she was pleased with the process so far: “The queues also inside the post offices are also being very well-managed. The marshals are doing very well. We also thought it would be a good idea to get them to rotate, to borrow us trolleys, so we can put trolleys between people to keep the social distance.”

However, Zulu said marshals in some areas were having a difficult time enforcing social distancing in queues outside social grant pay points.

Special transport arrangements have been made as taxis and some buses are allowed to operate between 5am and 8pm this week to ensure beneficiaries receive their funds.

Zulu said although the queuing at pay points was orderly, they needed to find other ways to make sure people maintained their social distance.

“We are on our way to Soweto, we were told that there were some challenges in maintaining order. So, we’ve come here to see for ourselves.”

Zulu spoke to some of the grant recipients, who said they understood the seriousness of the lockdown.

The minister said many of the elderly feared they might get infected and die of COVID-19.

“Some of them are very fearful because they have heard of the number of people who have died in countries like Spain, and fear they might end up in the same situation.”

Zulu has urged the elderly once again to maintain general hygiene at home by washing their hands regularly.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.