SA coronavirus lockdown: Social grants will be paid, minister assures beneficiaries
Johannesburg - There is no need to panic and rush to pay points as social grants will be paid during the national lockdown, Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu assured beneficiaries.
Ministers involved in the Covid-19 inter-ministerial committee on Tuesday gave an update on how the measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa will be implemented.
On Monday, Ramaphosa announced a 21-day national lockdown which will start on Thursday night and end on April 16. Only essential services will remain open during this period.
Zulu said social grants would be paid from March 30 and 31 for elderly and the disabled. This early payment is meant to help alleviate high numbers of people congregating together to collect their monthly grants. Other grants such as child social grants will be paid on the first of April. Zulu said there was no need to rush to collect these grants as the money would remain available.
She said SASSA, supermarkets and banks were prepared to facilitate payments of social grants. Zulu said SASSA offices will not be open during the national lockdown and no new applicants will be processed during the period. She encouraged citizens who may have issues to contact the call centres and visit SASSA's website and social media platforms for assistance.
Old age homes and shelters will remain open during the lockdown but, Zulu said, no visitors will be allowed.
On the water and sanitation front, Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the government was working with the private sector to ensure that people have access to water and sanitation throughout the lockdown period.
Water tankers will be distributed across communities in need. Sisulu said 2000 communities and sites had been identified to be provided with water and sanitation. If citizens have issues with accessing water, they are encouraged to contact the call centre on 0800 200 200.