Man, 75, dies while collecting pension

SOUTH AFRICA - Cape Town - 19 July 2019 - Stock - Vangate Mall - Lovely and vibrant little mall in Athlone. Entire Food court is halaal. Main shops are spar, pick n pay, Edgars, Woolworths. Free parking and conveniently close to Cape Town CBD and Cape Town International Airport. Front facade. Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

A pensioner collapsed and died while walking to Vangate Mall to collect his pension last Monday.

Police are now urging seniors not to exert themselves during the coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown.

The 75-year-old man was going to the mall to collect his pension and do some shopping when he collapsed and died, according to Athone police spokeswoman Sergeant Zita Norman. An inquest docket was opened.

“We urge pensioners to take care during this time; it is very stressful so if they have someone who can collect their grants for them or drive them to where they need to be it would help. Pensioners must try to not exhaust themselves during this time,” she said.

Meanwhile, pensioners queued outside the mall in the cold from as early as 5am last Monday after the Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu said pensions would be available from March 30 to 31 to alleviate overcrowding.

All other social grants were to be paid, as per schedule, on April 1.

Mia May accompanied her 63-year-old aunt, Avril May, to Vangate Mall Pick * Pay to collect her pension. She said the queue had snaked into the parking lot as pensioners had seized the chance to collect their grants earlier and do some shopping. Mia said her efforts to help her aunt had been in vain as a manager had stopped her going inside with aunt as she wasn’t a senior.

“I told him that I am accompanying my aunt like I usually do every month as she cannot carry her groceries, and he said no I have to wait outside. Pensioners were getting so annoyed as they were standing in the cold for hours.”

Then, after two hours, staff had brought trolleys for the seniors to lean against as their legs were getting tired and sore from standing, she said.

“They knew pensioners were coming so why were they not prepared for this? I hope that as this lockdown continues that they come up with a better plan.”

Vangate Mall did not respond to questions by the time this edition went to print.