Tomase still has longer to wait for her ID document that will give her and her children access to a social grant or the covid-19 emergency relief grant as a cushion against their grinding poverty.
The measures taken by government to slow the spread of COVID-19 have unmasked the face of racialised and gendered inequalities hiding in the folds of democracy.
Despite claims by SASSA that it has dealt with the influx of grant applicants at its Khayelitsha office, those seeking help continue to sleep outside the building hoping not to be turned away the next day.
Hunger and a social security agency that is unprepared for the disbursement of the Covid-19 relief grant is what is causing the long queues.
The long queues at Khayelitsha Mall were especially long and winding this week as the coronavirus temporarily closed two other retail centres in the biggest township in the Western Cape.
The numbers of those infected by the coronavirus in Khayelitsha are growing alarmingly as residents fail to practice social distancing while they queue for food parcels and submit applications for jobs.
The strategy by SASSA to stagger payments of social grants fails as elderly and disabled people and shoppers stand in long queues in poor communities around Cape Town.
Measures to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus are blocking applicants for social grants.
Support given to poor households is being taken away by the municipality’s insistence on the recovery of costs for services.
The lack of economic opportunities in small rural and farming towns around the country is driving up social ills. Most of these towns rely on a single industry, typically farming. Unemployment is high and too many children pregnant. Alcohol abuse is reportedly spiking because there are more bottle stores in town than factories or bookshops.