Recipients waiting in line around the building near the Commercial Road post office on Friday. Most people are there to check on the progress of their special Covid-19 grant applications. (Mkhuseli Sizani, GroundUp)
- People have traveled to the Nelson Mandela Bay Post Offices to check on the progress of their Covid-19 special grants.
- Staff and security have urged people not to visit payment points unless they have received an SMS confirming that their money is available.
- On Friday there were snake tails at the post offices of Commercial Road, Algoa Park and Ziyabuya Mall in KwaDwesi.
A good number of frustrated beneficiaries of R350 Covid-19 grants lined up outside the Nelson Mandela Bay Post Offices on Friday.
This is despite previous warnings from staff and the security of not visiting payment points unless they have received an SMS confirming that their money is available.
Many people with whom GroundUp spoke said that visiting post offices seemed to be more successful in being assisted than waiting at home.
On Friday morning, GroundUp visited the post offices of Commercial Road, Algoa Park and Ziyabuya Mall in KwaDwesi.
In each there were snake tails with very little physical distance. Although people wore masks, not all wore them properly.
Most people said she had arrived at 5:15 a.m., but that she had been assisted shortly after the post office opened due to the new booking system.
According to them, this system prioritizes people according to the last three numbers of their identifications. So, this morning, people with ID cards finished with 082 and 087 were attended to.
At the Ziyabuya post office, its beneficiaries said they were frustrated with the new identity reservation system. More than 300 people were still out at 11:30 p.m.
Lulamile Ntondini, from Soweto-on-Sea, has been applying for the R350 Covid-19 special scholarship since June. He said it was his fourth visit to the office to check on the progress of his application.
I tried all the tricks used by other beneficiaries who have received grants, but to no avail. Other recipients advised me to apply through different mobile numbers and to keep coming to pick up my money at the post office.
On Friday, he was told again to return next week.
The father of two said he desperately needed the money to buy food for his children.
“The last time I had a job was in 2018. Since then I depend on my mother’s old age scholarship,” she said.
Sisa Ndiza, of the informal settlement in Westville, complained about the mismanagement of queues by staff.
“Our ID numbers only allow us to come on Fridays, but we have to start from scratch every week due to mismanagement of queues by officials. Some of the people just make their way even though they haven’t received notifications “.
Mawande Ndlendle, 38, of New Brighton, joined the queue on Commercial Road to inquire about the application she submitted three months ago. “My application keeps saying it’s pending. I have three kids at home and I need money to buy them food. So I decided to come here to get my money.”
Sassa provincial spokeswoman Luzuko Qina confirmed that the system had changed.
He said the post office had found a “simpler solution to managing the influx to its outlets.” He said at first that they introduced an SMS system, followed by a reservation system. “And now, the last three digits of the ID.”
Qina said the latter approach had helped many areas of the country, while in some areas a “dual approach” is being implemented.