KwaZulu-Natal has highest number of orphans — Sassa

2012-08-27 00:00

KZN South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) spokesperson Vusumuzi Mahaye confirmed that the province has the highest number of orphans.

He said foster care grants are one form of assistance offered to orphans.

An orphan can be legally placed in the care of foster parents after a social worker has assessed the conditions and the placement has been approved by a court.

Duncan Andrew of Thanda­nani Children’s Foundation said in areas where there are no readily available support structures like Thandanani, the Department of Social Development is the first port of call for families like these.

“But it is probably easier for them to ask a teacher at school to help them and for them to arrange for the children to see a social worker either at school or at the local social development offices.”

He said then a social worker will assess the children’s circumstances and needs and assist from there.

However, the workload of state social workers can be a challenge.

Andrew stressed the importance of the support of an adult, such as a teacher or neighbour.

According to the General Household Survey (GHS), in 2007 there were 150 000 children living in 79 000 child-only households in SA.

Almost all (79%) children living in child-only households were in just three provinces: Limpopo (38%), Eastern Cape (25%) and KwaZulu-Natal (16%).

The GHS survey found that “over the six-year period 2002 to 2007, these three provinces have consistently been home to the bulk of children living in child-only households”.

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