130305 - Cape Town - Pensioners qeue at the Athlone Civic Centre waiting to receive their SASSA payouts. REPORTER: NATASHA PRINCE. PICTURE: WILLEM LAW.

I fail to understand the criteria applied to granting old-age pensions, says a Cape Argus reader.

We are referring to responsible human beings who have played a major role in bringing this country to where it is, people who slogged to provide a home for their family, worked to see that food was put on the table for their children, ensured that they were educated and who saved to maintain their houses.

When called upon, they also saw to the needs of fellow human beings who were worse off.

But then along comes someone, who may have a degree but no life experience or understanding of what it is to struggle, and they make our lives a living hell.

Whether we receive a pension from our employers (something we fought for), or our spouse is working or we have money in the bank, should not be criteria used against us pensioners.

It seems young children who transgress our holy scriptures by using their bodies to bring innocent children into this world are more highly regarded. Shame on the whole government. At the end of the day those children are abused and the taxpayer must look after them.

Just have a look around at the robots on the Cape Flats. This new system of re-registering pensioners is an insult to all of us.

We have spent our lives in the service of this country, and now that we are frail and sick we must spend our days walking to these offices, standing in long queues in all kinds of weather, and being set up to be robbed by the banks with their charges or the gangsters lurking outside supermarkets.

We need help. We are dealing with arrogant officials who do not understand or are not prepared to give us a hearing. They need to remember that while the wheel turns slowly it will not miss them.

It was our struggle that put them where they are. In our last years we need peace, respect and a good pension.

We deserve a substantial increase. Take away perks from state officials. We helped build this country and now we suffer.

Hungry pensioner

Cape Town

* The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus