Long queues, frustration awaits pensioners collecting Sassa payouts

On Monday, there was chaos outside Mitchells Plain's Town Centre when pay points struggled to accommodate the masses.

Pensioner Anne Snyman leaves Mitchells Plain's Town Centre after collecting her pension payout on 30 March 2020. She said she stood in line for six hours. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Another long wait for social grants payouts is expected in the Western Cape on Tuesday, amid the national COVID-19 lockdown, which enters its fifth day.

The elderly and those with disabilities have been prioritised with regards to payouts.

On Monday, there was chaos outside Mitchells Plain's Town Centre when pay points struggled to accommodate the masses.

Five people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Mitchells Plain.

Frustrated at the long wait, elderly grant beneficiaries said they did not feel like much of a priority.

"They could have let al lthe people go in and then divide them. Why do we have these long, long queues? We must also go shopping, we Sassa people also need food."

Queues of thousands snaked around buildings, as people stood for hours in lines as long as 200 metres.

Some had masks and gloves, while others had none.

In this area, there were no clear markings for social distancing, so people stood close to each other in the queue.

A 79-year-old on crutches stood in a queue for more than six hours.

She was tired, hungry and her feet were sore.

"The queue was down at the gate, as you enter the premises but you had to stand in it and wait your turn."

Officers, including SANDF soldiers, patrolled the crowded and busy area.