SASSA Child Support Grant R 240 Top-Up
The Department of Social Development gazetted the proclamation of the Social Assistance Amendment Act on 30 May 2022, effectively improving the social assistance programme to benefit orphans and vulnerable children. Social assistance is one of the country’s biggest child protection programmes currently reaching just over 13 million children.
This comes as the country commemorates Child Protection week which was launched in Lusikisiki, Eastern Cape on 29 May 2022 and closing in KwaZulu-Natal on 5 June 2022.
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The commemoration is meant to raise awareness on the high incidents of teenage pregnancy, abuse and exploitation focusing on the reduction and prevention of teenage pregnancy through prevention and early intervention programmes. The campaign further strengthens partnerships with various stakeholders, most importantly parents, families and communities.
During the Child Protection week the Department highlights service offerings and promotes the rights, well-being and protection of children.
Furthermore, children are given an opportunity to voice issues that affect them and propose solutions to them.
The Social Assistance Amendment Act specifically seeks amongst others to make provision for additional payments linked to social grants which includes, the implementation of 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.
The CSG Top-Up alleviates the burden on social workers contending with high foster care caseloads by reducing the number of new applications and two-yearly extensions. This will free them up to provide responsive child protection and care services to all children in need of care and protection. This is not a new grant but rather builds on the existing CSG system in a form of a “top-up” amount.
The CSG is one of government’s most successful social protection interventions for children living in poverty. The CSG Top-Up will expand on this successful programme with a focus on the most vulnerable children – orphans living with adult relatives and orphans living on their own in child-headed households, who will now be able to access the benefit for themselves. This policy expands child care and protection for these vulnerable groups of children.
Orphaned children living in poor families and children living in child-headed households who are not adequately financially supported warranted a policy intervention for additional income support.
This intervention strengthens and supports the safety net of orphaned children through a specifically defined additional accessible cash benefit.
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.
In order to receive this benefit, applicants will be required to prove that a child is an orphan by providing:
(a) certified copies of the death certificates of the child’s parent/s; or
(b) where the death certificate of one of the parents 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.”
The amendment will also facilitate online applications for CSG and CSG Top-Up which will also alleviate the burden of primary caregivers having to travel long distances or queuing at SASSA offices to lodge an application. This will also reduce their risk of exposure to Covid-19.
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. Notifications of the outcome of their online application will be sent by SMS or email.
ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT