SocDev, Comms depts working to address long queues at social grant pay points

Minister Zulu said she was working with her counterpart at the communications and digital technologies department to have technical teams at the payment point to fast track payouts.

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 – Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said that the snaking queues of grant beneficiaries at post offices remained a major problem.

Zulu said that she was working with her counterpart at the Communications and Digital Technologies Department to have technical teams at the payment point to fast track payouts.

The minister gave an update earlier on the various social relief measures the department implemented to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Amongst the measures explored and implemented at the moment, including the deployment of volunteers to manage queues; social distance and using alternative public facilities such as municipal halls for payments, Sapo [the South African Post Office] has also introduced a system for the staggering of payment dates based on the last three digits of an ID.”

She said that her department had been working closely with the Post Office to iron out the number of problems.

She has again reiterated that she never gave police instructions to use a water cannon against elderly and disabled people who queued outside South African Social Security Agency’s (Sassa) Bellville office in the Western Cape last month.

READ: WC MEC Fritz welcomes Ipid probe into use of water cannons on Sassa applicants

Zulu said she only tried to urge people to keep their distance in the long queue.

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