Cape Town – The Children’s Institute has called on Parliament to use its leverage to allocate R 1 billion to the medium-term budget for social grants in October.
That R1bn would ensure that the Child Support Grant (CSG) could be increased by a further R10 per month from R460 per month in October (as it has been over the past 5 years) and Sassa could start a larger CSG for orphans in the country Providing care of relatives.
South Africa – Cape Town – March 30, 2020 – The Lavistown Post Office in Bishop Lavis has made SASSA withdrawals. Welfare recipients (SASSA) should find it easier to collect their money after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula announced plans to relax public transport rules to accommodate them. From Monday, March 30, 2020 to Friday, April 3, 2020, buses and taxis are allowed to run from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. to meet the transportation needs of the most vulnerable in society. Elderly and disabled people will receive social allowances from March 30th and 31st. Other grants such as child benefit are paid on April 1st. Picture Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)
The institute filed a motion with the Parliament’s Standing Committee on Budgets two months ago to use its influence to convince the treasury.
“At the time we made the motion, it was clear that Parliament would not use its powers to change the thrifty budget proposed by the Treasury Department in February 2021) by R36 billion, which would make the poorest people in South Africa, including millions of starving and malnourished children, deprives income, ”said the lead researcher at the Children’s Institute Paula Proudlock.
However, the institute asked parliament to put political pressure on the treasury to return at least R1bn of the R36bn that had been seized.
She said they had made it clear that this was the least they should do to maintain the status quo and ensure that the CSG increase keeps pace with food price inflation.
“In addition, in view of the increase in adult deaths due to Covid-19, the limited employment of social workers and the rapidly decreasing access to foster child benefits, it was urgently necessary to implement the higher CSG for orphans in the care of relatives and no longer held back.
“Whether the National Treasury will grant this small concession of R1 million for children, or better yet, return the entire R36 billion for all grant recipients, remains to be seen in October.”
Proudlock said that in addition to returning the R36 billion, the institute asked the cabinet to raise the CSG to the food poverty line, reintroduce the Covid-19 R500 Caregiver Grant and the Covid-19 R350 grant.
“All of these reforms can be done at the push of a button – they don’t need any new infrastructure or systems. Following the destruction of the food supply systems in two provinces in South Africa, caring for children and their families should be a top priority for the government, ”said Proudluck.
Comment was requested from the National Department of Social Development. She replied that Minister Lindiwe Zulu was on record on various platforms and expressed concern that the child benefit subsidy was below the food poverty line.
The Commissioner for Children of the Western Cape, Christina Nomdo, said: “Children and families living in impoverished circumstances are going through harder times because of the pandemic. The child benefit subsidy is insufficient to cover the basic needs of children. The grant needs to be increased so that families can afford to support themselves. ”
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