The National Social Security Authority (NSSA) pensioners, Monday, besieged the Bulawayo branch demanding that their monthly payouts be paid in United States Dollars saying the current payouts in Real Time Gross Settlement dollars were inadequate.
Currently, principal beneficiaries are receiving minimum pay-outs of RTGS$80 per month while the surviving beneficiaries are receiving a minimum of RTGS$32.
Police details had to be deployed to quell the angry beneficiaries who were causing a scene at the NSSA branch.
CITE spoke to some irate beneficiaries who were outside the premises who stated that their current payouts were too little.
“$30 is useless these days. We cannot do anything with it. We have responsibilities and bills to pay, as for me l have to pay $20 electricity, $16 water and at the end of the day l cannot buy anything,” fumed one pensioner who identified herself as MaNdlovu.
Nomatter Mpofu, a surviving beneficiary suggested the institution pays them in USD.
“NSSA should give us the $30 in USD. They used to take our monies when our husbands were working but now, they are giving us peanuts.
“When it was USD we used to survive. I could buy groceries for $10 and save the remaining money for other necessities but now the money they are giving us cannot even buy 2litres of cooking oil and mealie-meal,” she said.
Siphindile Ndlovu from Pumula East said she could no longer feed her family as the money was not enough to buy groceries.
“We are living under severe poverty. I don’t recall the last time l bought meat for my children. Even the vegetables that were though are cheap are now expensive. Cabbage is now $5 a head which is not affordable.”
The beneficiaries said most shops in the city were now charging goods in foreign currency which they could not afford.
They also highlighted the money which was deposited into their respective bank accounts yesterday has not yet reflected even though they received texts from the banks.
“This is the third month at Post office with the money delaying to reflect. It’s unacceptable because l would have borrowed transport money from my neighbours. How will they feel when l tell them l can’t give them back their money?” fumed Luke Ndlovu.
Ndlovu said he could not afford making numerous trips to town as the money was not enough.
“Transport is now expensive. I would need $3 to get into town. If l do not get that money, I will have to come back again the next day. With the money they are giving us, it very impossible to survive.”
A NSSA official who addressed the pensioners assured them that they would receive their payouts soon.
“We transferred your monies in banks, they will reflect by tomorrow. As for the increment, we do not know what will happen but the Minister (Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare) is aware of your concerns and we will act accordingly,” said the official.
The last pay increase for pensioners was in October 2017.