As law enforcement agencies intensify policing on the wearing masks in South Africa, older people report that some of them just can’t afford to buy them.

May 4th is day one for pensioners and people with disabilities to collect their social grants.

For the next 6 months, the elderly will receive R250 more for their social grants as part of the government’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

This is how many of the beneficiaries feel after waiting in line for over five hours.

Law enforcement agents and marshalls have been deployed to ensure that all the beneficiaries have masks on as per the law.

But some here have rolled pieces of cloth to cover their noses and mouths.

One elderly woman has decided to use her favourite scarf.

“No, I don’t have money to buy a mask. Give me one.”

She said that this was not ideal.

“I take the mask off because I’m suffocating but when I cough, I cover up again.”

Like many, one woman said that she could not afford to buy a mask but she felt she did not really need it as she would stay home for the next month.

This story was originally published on EWN and can be accessed here.