DA: Clarify kinship benefit

2012-09-03 22:22
Elderly woman's hand (File,  <a href=\http://www.shutterstock.com\>Shutterstock</a>)

Elderly woman's hand (File, Shutterstock)

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Johannesburg - Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini needs to outline measures for the financial support of those who care for their grandchildren, the Democratic Alliance said on Monday.

"The minister’s vague proposal to introduce a kinship benefit to assist those dependent on the grants must be clarified," MP Mike Waters said in a statement.

The South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg ruled last week that grandparents and siblings supporting children should be disqualified from receiving foster grants, as they had a duty to support children.

Waters said grandparents were likely to suffer as a result of the ruling.

"More than 300 000 grandparents could lose access to monthly grants as a result of the ruling... This ruling will have devastating implications for grandparents whose only income is their monthly R1 200 old age grant."

Waters said he would write to Yolanda Botha, chairperson of the social development portfolio committee, to ask Dlamini to clarify how financially overburdened grandparents would be protected.

Waters called on Dlamini to clarify proposals to introduce a kinship benefit to help those dependent on the grants and for measures to be put in place until this benefit could be implemented.

"The ruling is likely to increase the number of orphaned children who will end up in children’s homes."

He said the average cost of looking after a child in state-run children's homes was R2 200, while a foster care grant was R770 a month.

As such, withdrawing the grant from grandparents would cost the State three times as much money.

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