The Minister of Social Development has expressed concern regarding the low number of people who benefit from a social grant which is aimed at assisting those who are caring for orphaned children.
The allocation of funds for the National Department of Social Development in the 2023/24 financial year was announced by the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu in a budget vote delivered on Tuesday, last week.
The budget aims to provide crucial support to the most vulnerable members of South African society.
During the budget vote, Minister Zulu expressed concern about the low uptake rate for the Child Support Grant (CSG) Top-Up which was introduced in June 2022 to address Foster Care backlogs and provide improved support for orphaned children living in South Africa.
After a year of this grant being in place the Minister says that more people should be registered for this grant and in order to increase the numbers the Department of Social Development (DSD) will launch a nationwide multi-media communication campaign.
The CSG Top-Up builds on the existing child support grant but recipients of the CSG Top-Up receive an additional amount of money. This grant was increased by R240 which brings the total amount to R720 per child per month.
Caregivers caring for orphaned children have been encouraged to apply for the CSG Top-Up. The caregivers include grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts or cousins.
Applications for the CSG Top-up can be made at Sassa offices around the country. No social workers report or court order is required to access the grant.
A social workers report is required in cases where the orphan child is living in a child-headed home.
“I appeal to all those who are taking care of orphans and vulnerable children, faith and community-based organisations to register such children for the CSG Top-Up.” said Zulu.
She also called on fellow government members to spread the message across the country.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) aims to reach children who are below the age of 1 years old in order to ensure that the number of its prospective beneficiaries within this age range is identified and receives benefits from the assistance provided by the DSD.
The total budget allocation for the National Department of Social Development amounts to R263 billion for the 2023/24 financial year.