“We are going to request an urgent meeting with the security company so that we make them aware of the situation. We request that the beneficiaries report such incidents to the security guard or any post office official on site as and when they get harassed‚” she said.
Njapha urged beneficiaries to withdraw anytime of the month when there were no queues. “They can also have other options to withdraw at merchants as well as at ATMs‚” said Njapha.
Thandi Nsele‚ who is 72 and also from Imbali‚ said‚ “There are times when these amaphara would want to carry our grocery for us. Once you agree that they assist you‚ they ask for money. Besides lining up the bricks they are dangerous. Amaphara are not the only ones who are making our life difficult. Due to the post office not having enough chairs‚ we pay for things to sit on.”
“Hiring a thing to sit on is R20. Some charge the price of R10… There is a huge difference compared to the community hall… We had water‚ enough chairs and toilets. There was also a committee that took care of us. They were able to seat us and prioritise the elderly and those who are sick‚” said Nsele.
One of the amaphara‚ Sibusiso Zondo‚ said‚ “We keep the space for them. The ones who pay‚ get a closer space in the queue. We have beneficiaries who now asked that we keep the space for them‚” he said. He denied harassing or hurting the gogos.
A street vendor who sells snacks outside the post office said she has witnessed gogos peeing on the side of the road. “They should have more toilets. Some of them arrive as early as 4am. They would stand in the queue longer‚ if they haven’t paid. Those who pay are the ones who are served faster than others. It’s saddening but one cannot do anything about it‚” she said.
- This article was first published by GroundUp