Picture: Dumisani Sibeko / African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Dumisani Sibeko / African News Agency (ANA)

Concerns over when lockdown child grants increase ends in November

By Sukaina Ishmail Time of article published Jun 1, 2020

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Cape Town - Families who are dependent on child social grants are satisfied with the increase during lockdown, but are concerned that they won’t be able to cope financially when the grant decreases in November.

Twelve million children on the child support grant (CSG) received an extra R300, increasing their usual grant amounts to R740 during the lockdown period. About 350 000 children in foster care and 155 000 children with severe disabilities received an extra R250 grant, increasing it to R1290 and R2110 respectively.

UCT Children’s Institute senior legal researcher Paula Proudlock said: “This relief was much appreciated and immediately used to buy food and other basic necessities, but for the majority of families, especially those dependent on the smaller CSG, the grant money had run out by mid-May. Millions of caregivers (mostly women) and children are currently starving as they wait for the next pay day on June 5.”

Molo Songololo director Patric Solomons said: “The increase of the child support grant was welcomed and many families were pleased with the increase, as it brought some relief and made a difference for struggling families.”

Solomons said they hope the increase can be sustained beyond Covid-19, because the high price increases will potentially threaten food security for families.

The Saartjie Baartman Centre social worker Kayla Horne said: “The top-up will settle food insecurity and potentially eliminate stress as food insecurity could lead to domestic abuse.”

Ilitha Labantu spokesperson Siya Monakali said: “We understand the importance of social grants and the significant role they play in supporting families, thus we call for greater support to be provided for families in need, because the needs of families vary depending on circumstances.”

Monakali said what was witnessed during this lockdown was a far reaching extent of poverty with regards to the impact on poorer households.

“We are particularly concerned about the resale of alcohol under lockdown level 3 and how this would affect the misuse of child social grant for the purchase of alcohol,” he said.


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Cape Argus

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