Sowetan woman, 70, on her getting her social grant during lockdown: ‘I had to spend long hours in a line’

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Social grant recipients. (GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES).
Social grant recipients. (GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES).

The Covid-19 pandemic has had everyone worried, including pensioner Elizabeth Maqhubela.

Even though Elizabeth has been at home since President Cyril Ramaphosa pleaded with the country to stay home to minimise the spread of the virus, she was worried about going to get her state pension.

“I am glad that the government has been considerate of the elderly and disabled by paying them earlier. But the lines at the malls were so long. I wish they would have made a separate one for the older citizens. I had to spend long hours in a line to get my pension and then wait some more trying to buy groceries,” she says.

Read more: Two social grants beneficiaries die on first day of payment under lockdown

Elizabeth lives with her son and daughter and their two kids. She says she had to get her money because they don’t have enough food.

“We didn’t have food so I had to go stand in those long lines. My daughter was with her child. It was not easy to get a taxi as well,” Elizabeth tells us.

Despite all those obstacles, Elizabeth says she’s glad shop owners are doing everything in their power to fight the virus. She says wherever she went, she was provided with sanitiser when she had to enter.

She says she always carries a bottle of water so she can take her high blood pressure medication when she goes to get her pension because she knows the lines are always long.

Read more: The poor, starving and forgotten people of Diepsloot: 'We are not going to survive this virus'

The 21-day national lockdown has meant Elizabeth only had enough to buy food and wasn’t able to pay her debt.

“But at least my grandchildren will not go hungry. This coronavirus has changed our lives. I hope people listen so that it dies down,” she says.

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