Cape Town - The provincial delegation to the National Council of Provinces has been given the authority to support the Social Assistance Amendment Bill, after the standing committee on social development proposed a number of amendments.
The amendments include empowering the social development minister, acting in concurrence with the finance minister, to make additional amounts available to social grants.
The grants affected were the older persons grant for those older than 75 and the child support grant.
Committee chairperson Gillion Bosman made the announcement at the end of a two-and-a-half hour meeting during which the committee came up with a provincial mandate on the bill. The ANC member of the committee MPL, Gladys Bakubaku-Vos, said she supported the bill, but without the proposed amendments.
In their submission to the committee, the Children’s Institute at UCT said the amendments highlighted the precarious position that orphans in care of relatives find themselves in with regards to accessing the foster child grant.
“UCT welcomes the amendments to the act which are aimed at the introduction of a higher valued child support grant for relatives caring for orphaned children,” said the Children’s Institute.
The West Coast District Municipality’s submission said: “The proposed amendment will fast-track the application process and adjudication of grants to vulnerable children so that no child will be left behind.
“Given the socio-economic context of South Africa, we are in favour of this reform. The municipality however proposes that the amendments be streamlined with interventions to combat other social ills that negatively impact the welfare of children.”
The Commission for Gender Equality said: “The inclusion of the definition of the word disaster in Section1 of the Act is fundamental in view of the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa that resulted in many people losing jobs. It will go a long way to address poverty in women-headed households.”