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LOOK: Man, 74, dies in Athlone as long queues put a strain on social grant recipients

Hundreds of elderly and disabled people dependent on social grants queueing outside the Kraaifontein Post Office yesterday. Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

Hundreds of elderly and disabled people dependent on social grants queueing outside the Kraaifontein Post Office yesterday. Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 31, 2020

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Cape Town – Police have opened a death inquest case after a 74-year-old man died near the Vangate Mall in Athlone on Monday, says Western Cape police spokesperson Sergeant Noloyiso Rwexana.

According to Bonteheuwel councillor Angus McKenzie, the man collapsed in Jakes Gerwel Drive after returning from the mall.

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This came on a day when social grant beneficiaries had to endure standing in long queues for hours in Mitchells Plain, with only five to 10 people being allowed in a building in certain instances to adhere to social distancing measures. 

There were also reports, however, of overcrowding at other paypoints in Mitchells Plain and in Kraaifontein, with accusations that they had not been prepared for the volume of people that arrived.

At other paypoints in Cape Town, they ran out of cash and the pensioners were asked to return today.

Sassa said last night payments of over R3.7 billion had been made countrywide by 4pm at Sassa paypoints and the post office, with an additional 3.1 million beneficiaries who had been paid at commercial banks.

Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

The payouts had been rescheduled to yesterday and today to accommodate those vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak.

In Strand, a woman reportedly had a seizure while queueing for her grant at the Broadway Centre.

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Social Development Minister Lindiwe Sisulu expressed her condolences over the death of two social grant beneficiaries yesterday.

A furious elderly woman told EWN yesterday she had been standing at a Shoprite queue that was about 200m long since 8am.

“This doesn’t make sense, how can they put people like this? Ten people go inside before the other 10 comes out, I’ve been standing here for hours,” she said.

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Picture: Henk Kruger / African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Times

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