'We even ran out of salt' - Late Sassa payouts leave pensioners fuming‚ and hungry
Nomsa Mfusi broke into tears while explaining the trauma she faced after not receiving her social grants on time.
Mfusi is a pensioner from Palm Springs on the East Rand‚ who also collects a disability grant for her brother in Dlamini‚ Soweto. She gets her two grants at Standard Bank.
On Sunday she expected to get her money‚ but to her dismay there was no money when she went to the bank.
"We came here on Monday and again on Tuesday. They kept sending us back without the money. Today is our third day coming here‚" said Mfusi while queuing at the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) office in Maponya Mall‚ Soweto.
“I stay far away. I’ve spent a lot of money coming here and getting nothing. The taxis have gone up. It’s been really difficult‚” she said.
When she did finally get her money‚ she was disappointed to find that it was not the full amount. “When we finally got the money yesterday‚ it was about R200 short‚” said Mfusi‚ adding that she was able to buy some items for her brother.
When asked by TimesLIVE how the late payout had affected her‚ Mfusi broke down and cried.
"Things were bad! I had to borrow money from people to come here... I don't want to talk about this anymore. This has really hurt me!" she said.
Unfortunately Mfusi is not the only one who feels this way. Technical glitches relating to the change of distributor from CPS to the SA Post Office have affected the payout of grants‚ leaving many other beneficiaries in a desperate situation.
An ongoing strike by Public Service Association (PSA) members at Sassa has made thing even worse.
One woman‚ who did not want to be named‚ said all the grants for her three children were R10 short. This she felt was "really unfair".
Norman Mthembu‚ 68‚ of Tladi in Soweto explained how desperate things had become due to Sassa’s late payout. "Things at home were really bad. By the time the month ended‚ we had absolutely nothing. Everything was finished. We didn't even have salt! The shops that I owe started to call us. I was already scared that Eskom would switch off the electricity.
“Fortunately‚ I got the money in the morning yesterday‚" said Mthembu while queuing to get a new Sassa card.
"They really failed us with their new system. It was dismal failure. The old system was better. I've never come here and not got my money!" he said.