How the ANC keeps winning elections

2014-07-20 15:03

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Sophia Teffo is not one to speak about the good old days.

The 89-year-old widow says life would be unimaginable without the social grants that keep her family alive.

Teffo and her 10-member Limpopo household live on her pension, her son’s disability grant and the child grants of six grandchildren, two of whom are orphans left by two of her late daughters.

She says their lives have changed dramatically since 1994.

“First, I got my old-age pension grant and later, I moved out of a mud house into a brick RDP house. It was still tough because I had to take care of the whole family from my monthly grant, which was not enough, so I continued working in the fields,” she says.

But today she does not need to work in the fields near her home in Manyapye village, Ga-Mashashane.

She and her disabled son are building a six-roomed extension next to their RDP house.

The child support grants are used to buy groceries and cater for the children’s needs.

“All we have achieved over the years was made possible by the state grant?...?A heavy weight fell off my shoulders when child support grants were introduced and I managed to focus on other things to improve my family’s living conditions.”

Teffo’s granddaughter Eva (27), is the mother of two children aged 11 and six. She has given up on ever finding work, but says the R620 she gets for them goes a long way.

“It puts food on the table for the whole family and the children never go to bed on empty stomachs,” she says.

The cash is used wisely.

“Instead of buying the kids winter clothing with cash, I get them on lay-by months before winter. Once they have winter clothes, I get another lay-by for summer clothes and close to the end of the year, once they have summer clothes, I start paying bits at a time for school uniforms.”

Teffo says her family ensures that each child benefits from his or her grant. A portion goes towards groceries and the rest is used for lay-bys, funeral policies and school stationery.

Eva says: “We really appreciate the child support grants. Obviously, some people do not use them correctly but at home we try to make the best of them, especially for the children.”

Teffo runs out of words to express her appreciation.

“Where would my family be without this huge government aid?

“We would not have survived on my pension grant because food has become too expensive,” she says.

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