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Lavender Hill pensioner grateful for food, social grant relief during lockdown

In Lavender Hill, one of the Western Cape's poorest areas, many senior citizens are more and more dependent on the kindness of strangers just to get a hot meal.

Lavender Hill residents wait for a hot meal provided by NGO Philisa Abafazi Bethu. Picture: Kaylynn Palm/EWN

CAPE TOWN - State pensioners will next month get a little more than usual and for many, the relief couldn't come soon enough.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R50 billion boost for grant funding, which means those on disability and old age pension grants will receive an extra R250 per month for the next six months.

WATCH: What Ramaphosa's stimulus plan will do for you - and for SA

In Lavender Hill, one of the Western Cape's poorest areas, many senior citizens are more and more dependent on the kindness of strangers just to get a hot meal.

Angeline Petro stands in the warm autumn sunshine waiting with hundreds of others.

She lives in the informal settlement just outside the official boundary of Lavender Hill, sharing her small dwelling with her daughter and grandchild. There's no chance for the household to make a daily wage under lockdown and there's no food in the house.

So, she walks the half a kilometre to get to the daily food queue run by NGO Philisa Abafazi Bethu.

"It's very hard for us, there's no food and no income at my place. So I only came here for food. It's very kind that they donated food for us to eat so that we can live again."

After she is served by volunteers, she holds her plastic container tightly in her hands and makes her way home slowly.

Petro said that she was aware of COVID-19 and she knew about social distancing and why she needed to stay indoors.

"I stay indoors and then I look after myself and my grandchild and daughter."

But it's the most basic of needs that drives her outside and in the absence of any food relief to help sustain her and her family, she has no choice but to brave the crowds of people who gather here every day for the only meal they'll get.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.