The Department of Social Development has gazetted the proclamation of the Social Assistance Amendment Act, thereby making the long-awaited child support grant top-up official.
The Department confirmed the proclamation in a statement on Wednesday (1 June), adding that this will improve the social assistance programme to benefit orphans and vulnerable children.
“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),” the Department’s spokesperson Lumka Oliphant said.
More than 13 million children in South Africa benefit from the government’s child protection programmes.
How much child support grant top-up is in 2022
The new law will affect how much child support grant top-up is from 2022 onwards. This is because it empowers the Minister of Social Development, in concurrence with the Minister of Finance, to top up 50 percent more on the grant for orphans in the care of relatives who are eligible for the CSG.
“These children will receive their basic child support grant, which is currently R480, plus an additional amount of R240 (50 percent of the basic CSG), bringing the total amount to R720,” Oliphant explained.
“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 top-up will also ease pressure on social care workers who have high foster care caseloads by reducing the number of new applications and two-yearly extensions. This will give them more time to care for the children.
“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,” Oliphant said.
“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.”
Applications can be made online on SASSA’s e-services website. Applicants will need an email address and cellphone number to register. After applying, they can check progress on the online portal, which will also send notifications via email or SMS.
To receive child support grant top-up, applicants will be required to prove that a child is an orphan by providing:
- Certified copies of the death certificates of the child’s parent/s; or
- 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.”