Pensioners Forced to Spend their Grants at Certain Shops
Statement by Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
It has been brought to my attention that pensioners withdrawing their monthly grants at supermarket till points are subjected to minimum purchase conditions.
This was raised with me yesterday when a pensioner went to his local Shoprite store in George, to withdraw his grant, and was told that he could only be assisted at a till point if his purchases came to more than R100. This is outrageous.
Pensioners are already challenged with having to stretch their grant to cover all their living expenses. They should not be forced to shop at a particular store and have minimum purchase amounts imposed on them, simply for the convenience of withdrawing their monthly grants.
I will be taking this matter up with the National Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini as a matter of urgency. I want to know what the agreement was between SASSA and the retailers, and if this agreement makes specific allowance for a minimum purchase clause, it needs to be reviewed immediately. If it does not, SASSA needs to take action against this retailer.
As it is, pensioners are regularly exploited by loan sharks and predators in their communities. The big retail giants should not be joining this practise.
Spokesperson for Minister Fritz
Cell: 083 280 9199