Sigh of relief for Breidbach

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Pensioners rejoice in grant pay

JOYOUS DAY: Pensioners from Breidbach and surrounding areas queue up for their social grants at the Breidbach community hall on Tuesday Picture: DESMOND COETZEE

THE monthly payment of social grants this month brought a real sense of relief among pensioners at the Breidbach community hall on Tuesday morning.

Their excitement came after reports of uncertainty that the payouts by the Department of Social Development and South Africa Social Security Agency (Sassa) will only take place at a later date due to issues surrounding their service provider. There were also fears that the grants may not be paid.

During a media briefing last week, Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini reassured all qualifying beneficiaries that they will receive their money as per normal.

“As recipients of social grants are aware, our payments are made at various channels including merchants, points of sale, banks, ATMs and Sassa pay points. Considering that April 1 is a Saturday and for this reason, as in all occasions when the grant payment date falls over a weekend, Sassa pay points will not open.

“On April 3, Sassa pay points will operate as normal and recipients are encouraged to go on their respective days as indicated on the slips they received last month,” Dlamini said.

The national Department of Social Development said the minister wishes to reiterate her unreserved apology for the anxiety and fear caused about the uncertainty around the payment of social grants.

People gathered as early as 6am at the Breidbach community hall in awaiting their grants and were all excited when Sassa vehicles made their appearance.

Winnie Baatjes said: “I am grateful that our prayers were answered as we all were in a state of panic after the rumours that there would not be payouts.”

Another pensioner, David Smith, 69, said he is over the moon after the rumours were all false.

“To be honest, I was worried when the news broke out that we are not going to get our grants but I am thankful that the problem could be solved,” Smith said.

Breidbach Seniors Club secretary Theresa Rose said the news about the non-payment of grants stressed her since it hit the streets.

“I depend on the grant as I use the money to buy food, pay my accounts and to buy electricity which I have to do daily. So I am really happy and extent my sincere gratitude toward Sassa,” Rose said.

Social grants protect South Africans from poverty with more than 17 million grants paid out every month.

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