Observer on Saturday - - News - By Sicelo Maziya

The long wait for el­derly ci­ti­zens which has now clocked six months of suf­fer­ing, is fi­nally over as gov­ern­ment will fi­nally dis­burse their grants, start­ing from Tues­day.

This is ac­cord­ing to a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day by the Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary in the DPM’s of­fice Khangeziwe Mabuza. Dis­burse­ments will start in the Lubombo re­gion, fol­lowed by Hho­hho, Manzini and con­clude with Shis­el­weni.

The el­derly grant will be is­sued to­gether with the dis­abil­ity and spe­cial needs grants. Worth not­ing is that the el­derly grants to be dis­bursed are those of the se­nior ci­ti­zens that are paid man­u­ally. Those who re­ceive theirs through the bank were not af­fected and have been smil­ing all the way to the bank as usual.

“The ac­tual dates and all other nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion will be is­sued by the Swazi Post which is tasked with the dis­burse­ment of the el­derly grant,” she said.

Mabuza fur­ther apol­o­gised for the de­lay in the dis­burse­ment of the grants.

“Fur­ther­more, the of­fice takes this op­por­tu­nity to apol­o­gise to the el­derly and per­sons with dis­abil­i­ties for the de­layed pay­ment.

This was due to in­ter­nal pro­cesses that had to be ful­filled to en­sure ef­fec­tive dis­burse­ment of the grants,” she stated.

How­ever, re­li­able sources have in­formed this pub­li­ca­tion that the de­lay in the dis­burse­ment of the grants was due to gov­ern­ment’s dry cof­fers.

The cur­rent pay­ments, which are con­ducted by Swazi Post, will ap­ply to the el­derly peo­ple who have not been paid their grant since the gov­ern­ment started hav­ing cash-flow chal­lenges.

The DPM’s Of­fice uses two forms of dis­burse­ment of the grants, one is done man­u­ally, through pay­ment points at con­stituency level and elec­tron­i­cally that is pro­cessed through var­i­ous banks.

The man­ual pay­ments are made quar­terly, while elec­tronic ones are done monthly.

Eswa­tini Old Age Grant (OAG) was in­tro­duced in 2005 as a univer­sal grant to all Emaswati ci­ti­zens over 60 years old, many of whom are car­ing for or­phaned chil­dren in their house­holds.

Cash trans­fers are in­creas­ingly seen as a pop­u­lar form of so­cial pro­tec­tion, rep­re­sent­ing a so­lu­tion to re­duc­ing poverty and food in­se­cu­rity for vul­ner­a­ble groups.

A study as­sess­ment re­port was done on what im­pact the OAG has had at house­hold level and dis­cus­sion on the mech­a­nisms by which the OAG has been de­liv­ered since its in­cep­tion. The re­port ar­gues that “OAG has proved to be a valu­able so­cial pro­tec­tion in­ter­ven­tion for re­duc­ing the ab­so­lute poverty and food in­se­cu­rity ex­pe­ri­enced by so many of the el­derly, and their house­holds”.


Some of el­derly who were still wait­ing for their grant will fi­nally get it start­ing from Tues­day.

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