The Department of Social Development gazetted the proclamation of the Social Assistance Amendment Act, effectively improving the social assistance programme to benefit orphans and vulnerable children.
This comes as the country commemorates Child Protection week, which was launched in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape, on May 29.
Social assistance is one of the country’s biggest child protection programmes currently reaching just over 13 million children.
The Social Assistance Amendment Act specifically seeks, amongst others, to make provision for additional payments linked to social grants, which includes implementing the extended Child Support Grant (CSG) policy for orphans in the care of relatives (CSG Top-Up).
This policy intervention empowers the Minister of Social Development, in concurrence with the Minister of Finance, to make provision for a top up of 50% more on the child support grant for orphans in the care of relatives who are eligible for the CSG. These children will receive their basic CSG, which is currently R480, plus an additional amount of R240 (50% of the basic CSG), bringing the total amount to R720.
This provision is an important part of the comprehensive legal solution to the foster care challenge, as it will enable relatives caring for orphans to get a social grant quickly by going directly to SASSA without first needing a social worker’s investigation, report and a court order.
It will enable relatives caring for orphans to provide for their basic needs and support that are required within their extended family environment without removing them from the households they are familiar with.
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In order to receive this benefit, applicants will be required to prove that a child is an orphan by providing:
1. Certified copies of the death certificates of the child’s parent/s
- Where the death certificate of one parent of the child cannot be obtained by the applicant, a certified copy of the death certificate of one parent and an affidavit by the applicant attesting to the unknown status of the child’s other parent.
Caregivers who are eligible can now apply for the CSG Top Up at any of SASSA local offices and online as of today, June 1, 2022, which is also international children’s day.
Applicants will also be able to track the status of their applications using the online portal. SMS will send notifications of the outcome of their online application or email.