South Africa: Gogos Pay to Queue for Pensions
Social grant beneficiaries pay R10 to R20 to get a space outside the Pietermaritzburg post office
Social grant beneficiaries in Pietermaritzburg have become the targets of extortion. They have to pay youngsters, known as “amaphara”, for a space in the queue outside the post office in Langalibalele Street. They pay R10 or R20 to be even closer to the front.
Honoratha Dlamini says it already costs her R200 to hire a car to get from Imbali Unit 13 to the post office to collect her pension (of about R1,700).
Dlamini said she was at the post office by 6am. “If you have no money to pay, you are last. You’d join the queue and a person would claim the space. These kids put bricks in the line. They would tell you that the space has been paid for. In that way we shift to the back. They don’t care,” she said.
Dlamini struggles to stand for a long time. There are no chairs and only two toilets. She said it was better when she collected her pension at a paypoint at the community hall. She said she doesn’t have “money for bribery”.
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