In the past the Ministry of Finance had always been my favourite government agency because of the way they treated pensioners. However, a recent policy change is making life difficult, especially for hinterland pensioners.
Previously, whenever we did not get a payment for a month because of difficult logistics, a mistake, or the fault of the ministry itself, we could rest assured that on correcting the fault, we would receive the past month’s pension within a day or two. All of this with extremely courteous and professional staff assisting you all the way. They even deposited the cheque into your bank account.
However, today this has changed. We are told that once your pension is not payable in the general monthly payments for whatever reason, you will have to wait until the following month to receive the pension.
For hinterland pensioners this is a nightmare, because we too have to pay for food and other life sustaining bills.
Imagine a pensioner from the remote indigenous village of Karasabai being told by the Ministry of Finance that s/he has to return in a month to the only bank in Lethem to uplift his/her pension even after correcting whatever error was made.
We ask that the policy be reviewed to make it more hinterland people friendly.
(Name and address provided)