Despite mask requirements, some elderly say they can't afford them

Like many, one woman said that she could not afford to buy a mask but she felt she did not really need it as she would stay home for the next month.

FILE: Senior citizens queuing for their monthly social grants at the South African Post Office at the Gold Sport shopping centre in Vosloorus, Ekurhuleni on 4 May 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As law enforcement agents intensify their policing on the wearing of masks, some elderly people have told Eyewitness News that they just cannot afford to buy them.

Monday is day one for pensioners and people with disabilities to collect their social grants.

For the next 6 months, the elderly will receive R250 more for their social grants as part of government’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

Exhausted but determined.

This is how many of the beneficiaries feel after waiting in line for over five hours.

Law enforcement agents and marshalls have been deployed to ensure that all the beneficiaries have masks on as per the law.

But some here have rolled pieces of cloth to cover their noses and mouths.

One elderly woman has decided to use her favourite scarf.

"No, I don't have money to buy a mask. Give me one."

She said that this was not ideal.

"I take the mask off because I'm suffocating but when I cough, I cover up again."

Like many, one woman said that she could not afford to buy a mask but she felt she did not really need it as she would stay home for the next month.

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