'Social grant hike not enough'

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Copy of ca p6 grants-Vaseka Ntshinga done INLSA Vaseka Ntshinga of Dunoon, who has two children, receives a social grant. Picture: Jason Boud.

Cape Town - A R10 increase on the R300-a-month children’s social grant is not enough, says Dunoon mother Vaseka Nstinga, 25.

The mother of two, who has been receiving R600 for her children, aged six and 18 months, said food and nappy prices increased monthly, so the additional R10 would not make much difference.

“It’s little, but what can I do?”

She said each month she used her children’s grant money to pay the debts incurred the previous month.

“I think it would be better if it was R1 000 a child instead,” she said.

The announcement was made yesterday by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who said the R10 increase would be paid in April, with an additional R10 payable in October.

Nstinga said: “My six-year-old daughter just started Grade R this year, and her school uniform alone cost me about R300, which made it impossible for me to pay her fees. So with this month’s grant, I have to pay the two months I owe in school fees.”

The fees are R100 a month.

Ntshinga said that her budget changed monthly depending on the debts she had accumulated, which could be up to R200.

Also, she usually spent R350 monthly on a food hamper sold at a Somali shop nearby. She spent R150 on nappies every month, and when they had been used, she resorted to towelling nappies that had to be handwashed.

She also spent R50 on electricity, about R60 on toiletries and would soon have to worry about an additional R170 in rent.

Ntshinga had been living in her mother’s one-bedroom house with the two children, but her mother was planning to move in with her partner, so Ntshinga has to find a home of her own.

“At the end of the month, I’m left with nothing, not even money for emergencies or medicines.”

She said to help cover the costs of raising her children, she had tried applying for jobs, but she had only Grade 9 and could not even find a cleaning job.

“I would like a job of any kind, so that I could at least help take care of my children. It’s not nice having to depend on the government to put food on your table.”

She said the fathers of her children had both deserted her.

One was living in Joburg and the other is in Gobo in the Eastern Cape.

“They tell me that they, too, are unemployed so they can’t help me.” - Cape Argus



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