Chaos erupted in Khomasdal yesterday when hundreds of pensioners turned up at the Old TB Hospital to receive their last payout for the year.
The elderly were forced to queue for hours in the scorching sun while waiting for Epupa Investment Holdings, the company that manages the government old age grant payouts.
When New Era arrived at the centre around 10h00, Epupa had not yet arrived.
At least three pensioners and one person with disabilities fainted due to the oppressive heat.
Elderly people at the pay point claimed the jostling was caused by young people, who pushed and squeezed their way through the line, leaving elders to scorch in the sun and security guards helpless.
Hileni Kamati, who travelled from Groot Aub to collect her money, stated that the youth do not respect elders or people with disabilities, so officials must always be accompanied by two or three police officers to keep order.
Andrew Paulus, another pensioner, said he was forced to join the back of the line, although he arrived at 06h00 without having eaten anything.
According to one of the officials, people did not want to maintain order, which made it difficult for them to begin paying out the money.
Ngamburiro Hoveka said they are used to the situation because people are not patient when it comes to money.
“That is exactly how we deal with people; sometimes, things get out of hand – and the only way to control it is to pause the machine for a few moments to try to put things back in order and then resume. Our machine is so fast that it can serve about 800 people per hour,” Hoveka explained.