Johannesburg – The festive cheer is coming early for pensioners and other beneficiaries of social grants, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) said on Monday.

The SASSA said all beneficiaries of social grants will receive their December social grant payments earlier than usual.

The Minister of Social Development Bathabile Dlamini decided to bring the payments forward after considering the vulnerability of the elderly people at major shopping centres around the country particularly during this time of the year.

“We have decided to pay the December social grants earlier than usual for the sole purpose of allowing elderly people to do their Christmas shopping ahead of the usual rush normally experienced over the festive season,” said the minister.

“In the past, elderly people have welcomed this move and we thought it wise to once again afford them an opportunity to do their shopping conveniently.”

Bringing the early festive cheer Dlamini said: “On behalf of my office and that of Deputy Minister Henrietta Bogopane-Zulu I wish all beneficiaries of social grants and their families a merry Christmas and a prosperous new year”.

The payment cycle for December 2015 will commence on the 26 November and end on the 16 December 2015 for all grant types at different payment channels.