By Lunga Mkhize
In an effort to control the spread of COVID 19 at money collection points, SASSA has introduced different paying dates for different grants. Payment date for the disability grants has been moved to the 4rd of every month while old persons grants will be paid on the 3rd. All other grants will now be paid from the 5th of every month. The changes will be effected from the month of August.
“In terms of the further staggering of payment dates to be introduced from August 2020, the Older Persons Grant will be paid from 03 August 2020. Disability Grants will be paid from 04 August 2020 and all other grants will be paid from 05 August 2020,” SASSA said in a statement.
“Any grants linked to those accounts will be available on the same dates. In terms of this new arrangement, it means disability grants won’t be paid on the same day as the Older Persons Grant.”
The staggering of payments is designed to further enforce social distancing and reduce the numbers of people who report to grant access points on any one day. Social grant pay points like as Post Offices and merchants are currently attracting a high number of beneficiaries trying to access their money on the same day, fueling the spread of COVID 19.
“The staggering of grants started after the lockdown and we should see this as an extension of this process to further limit the number of beneficiaries at payment facilities. The process will be monitored closely and further staggering is not ruled out in the near future, because we need to comply with government protocols of social distancing and washing of hands particularly,” said SASSA CEO, Totsie Memela.
Vaal Observer, observed for a week how grants beneficiaries accessing their money at Vanderbijlpark Post Office fail to keep social distance while other even join queues without putting on masks. The Post Office was closed on Tuesday after an employee tested positive for COVID 19 and was only opened on Thursday after a decontamination exercise rid the place of Coronavirus.
Sassa’s strategy is meant to protect the elderly who the most vulnerable to COVID 19.
“Beneficiaries should remember that they don’t have to withdraw their money on the first payment date but can withdraw it on any day after the payment date as it will remain in the accounts till they withdraw it” said Memela.