The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) offices in Cape Town are currently becoming potential hotspots for the coronavirus as many beneficiaries have been camping outside their offices since Tuesday evening in some areas.
These beneficiaries feel that they have no choice but to sleep outside the offices so that they can be first in line when the offices open or be forced to wait in the hot weather for hours.
As part of the COVID-19 regulations, SASSA branches are only permitted to allow a limited number of people to enter, which causes many people to be turned away since their offices are only open until 4 pm.
Many of these people are waiting to receive the Older Persons Grant and are being forced to wait in long queues due to lack of staff at these offices.
These offices have been operating with limited staff in compliance with the COVID-19 regulations, which have been put into place to ensure the safety of all.
At the Eersterivier SASSA office, several metro police officers were doing their best to ensure that those who are waiting in line are maintaining a distance of 1.5 metres between them and those around them.
Some of them have been waiting in the heat without food or water which can be quite dangerous, however, they need the social grant to support their families so they push through until they receive their grants.
Outside the Gugulethu office, some people wait in the long queue to either receive their grant or to renew and re-apply for their grants.
Bandile Maqetuka, SASSA's Regional Executive Manager, said that a booking system has been implemented for grant beneficiaries in an effort to make operations run smoothly.