Grannies may lose foster grants

2012-09-02 20:51

Johannesburg - A court ruling could result in the loss of foster-child grants for more than 300 000 grandmothers caring for orphaned children, the Sunday Times reported.

Judge Halima Salduker ruled in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg that grandparents had a legal obligation to support their grandchildren. The foster-child grant of R770 is available under the Children's Act for children abandoned or orphaned and without any visible means of support.

Without the foster-child grant, grandmothers would have to rely on the R280 child-support grant. Salduker ruled biological parents, adoptive parents and adult siblings had a "duty of support" to look after the child.

But aunts and uncles were eligible for foster-child grants because they did not have the same obligation, the Sunday Times reported.

The judgment was the result of an appeal by the Centre for Child Law at the University of Pretoria against a ruling by the Krugersdorp Children's Court.

The centre had appealed after a great-aunt caring for a 12-year-old boy was turned down for a child support grant.

Salduker's ruling was binding on all Children's Courts in Gauteng, and could set a precedent for the rest of the country, according to the paper.

  • talana.basson - 2012-09-02 21:12

    my grandma took us in after my mother died and if it wasnt for the extra money that came we would have been on the street. not all cases, how do you expect a pensioner to pay for a growing child? school fees, university fees? with petrol and food going up

      farmfreund - 2012-09-02 21:24

      State is taking it to far 300 000 less votes, grannies vote for a party that will support you, even the SPCA will do better than the Anc

      max.reynecke - 2012-09-02 21:31

      Basic principal, if you can't feed them don't breed them....don't cry after the fact that it is expensive to raise children and that the government support is inadequate, most of these children's parents were in any case not able to provide for them.

      rupesh.hari.7 - 2012-09-02 22:10

      Max - have you done a study on this? I am curious or is it just a guess? Whatever is the case, it is not these kids fault. The kids should be provided for, that is a mark of a civilized country. One can argue whether we should provide for kids with living parents as these provisions may encourage one to have kids just to get their hands on the money. However, this article talks about kids without parents who are now forced to be looked after by their grandparents. Talana - I hope you write in to your local MP to protest this. I hope all the readers write to their MPs to protest it. Perhaps nothing will change but at least we tried.

  • bernpm - 2012-09-02 21:14

    The children and their caring grannies with R 500 per month less. The party who claims to care for the poor, starts budget savings with the poor. The children, already without parents, will be further disadvantaged. What were the increases for mr President and his buddies again???

      goyougoodthing - 2012-09-03 14:57

      100000% correct

  • jonivdw - 2012-09-02 21:35

    Shocking and disgusting.... We need to do something! I'll contact How can they expect pensioners to care for kids on a tiny grant but government can waste money on rubbish! No more!

      narike.lintvelt.9 - 2012-09-02 22:39

      Good luck! I hope you can get a petition going. I'll sign and share it. Another good petition site is Care 2 Causes.

  • Vince.York - 2012-09-02 23:02

    must be some other way to push out millions of kids for 'uguh uguh votes' and get some easy layabout state funds and not have to go through these old grannies! Maybe going down the religious or traditional way of extending under 10 years of age girls should do the trick hey zuma? Social services can then also launder some more contractual "trender deals" to transform the state of the nation even faster! Where can that sangoma of the 'rabbit' have vanished now? Surely not present on the nkandla or Marikana hillsides. Possibly hibernating in Ratanangville.

  • melanie.kuschke.10 - 2012-09-02 23:26

    This is on earth does the judge in all his wisdom think grandparents are going to cope? It is also the right of the citizens of this country to have access to education which in some provinces is severely lacking, health care which is in a dismal state and to protection.... So what now?

  • Bfoq.Za - 2012-09-02 23:52

    Yes, they have a moral obligation. That is true. But, what about the children's welfare? How many of these loving grand parents are pensioners? They definately do not have the means of this judge to support their grand children. I feel sorry for the children here! I cry for the injustice here...

  • richard.lemmer1 - 2012-09-03 02:14

    Waste of taxpayer money ! Very little of this money are ever spent on the kids !!! They just waste it !!!

  • norma.gordon.5 - 2012-09-03 05:39

    Why not rather build a community where grans can stay with the children, we then give the tender to a buddy and pay in advance, never get the job done and grans and babies starve!!! Then we blame apartheid!!!

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-09-03 07:10

    I don't understand this. Foster child custody is awarded by the Court. If there is a Court order the grant is R770; if not, the grant is R280. The biological relationship makes a difference to the common law obligation of support but not to Social Welfare. Do I miss something?

  • caspertg - 2012-09-03 07:16

    Children and old people are going to be left to starve and forced to crime...some old people already eat animal foods due to human food being so expensive...way to f*** up the next generation. The govt has said it loud and clear...have your own money or die!!!! No jobs, water, electricity and now no food. Sounds like a war torn country rite?

  • Zahir - 2012-09-03 07:40

    there is always money for anc ministers million rand salaries and increases but not for kids this is a small amount and required

      cynthia.smith.71619533 - 2012-09-03 15:39

      Agreed Zahir. They sit down to a nice hot meal every night and thousands of little children go to bed hungry.

  • luke.dekoker - 2012-09-03 08:10

    This judge has a big issue with life!!! either upset because judges did not get a High enough pay increase or "it" had a bad childhood!! SHAME on you, you should be forced to spend some of your time visiting orphanages and the abandoned children.

  • wally.williams.148 - 2012-09-03 08:28

    I find it difficult to comment on this due to the fact that there is the emotional component and then the realistic and legalistic component. When I think about it emotionally and think of the Magogo's/Grannies and the child headed families, my heart shrinks and I feel helpless. But then, that is also the reason we compare this to the salaries of ministers and other emotional outcries. Plz do remember that the person occupying the post is entitled to the salary and benefits, and yes, also look forward at the prospect of an increase. Not every person in a "high" position is no good or worth nothing or corrupt. There are many areas where we may criticize payment - space does not allow though. Considering grants, it is important to understand the principle that there are so many children out there that require assistance, that the natural law obligations within family parimeters have to be applied and should have when the grants were introduced. Also, it is a common phenomenon 4 girls/women 2 have children and then shift the responsibility onto the grandparent 2 carry on with her life and without shame have another. In these cases the father will b said not 2 b known or where in the few where he is known he'd be unemployed. This irresponsible, highly promiscuous, immoral practice needs 2 b curbed. School girls need to understand the consequences and their responsibilities - which will hopefully filter down to the boys/men. Just a reality check. I do not thumb-suck, plz.

      eyesears.handsfeet - 2012-09-03 09:16

      Wally, could not agree with you more. I have even heard stories that grandmothers take on children that is not theirs at all or near any family line, using other peoples death certificates, to obtain the grant money.This is not shocking at all. Some children received RDP houses with extras and the means to make something of themselves. Maybe it is being taken from another point of view, where the burden of the grandmothers should be made lighter and the children should start doing something for themselves in order to support themselves. How much grant money will some grandmothers receive looking after ± 5-10 grandchildren? Who is going to look after the children if the grandmother passes away? What then? There is no diffence between someone looking after you now or (irrespective of the age) and someone that were suppose to look after you and cannot anymnore. And although government is trying to "cut" budget and beginning with the poor, it only stands to reason that people must start looking after themselves. Some children are in many areas forced to look after themselves. (Also irrespective of age) What the judges story is, maybe these grandmothers are of those that have so many already that the children are not being looked after properly and thus creating an unsafe and unhealthy environment even with the grant money. At the end of the day there is good and bad to both sides.

  • Zengfuey - 2012-09-03 08:53

    Salduker's ruling is immoral and inhumane and does not take into account that the grannies looking after their grandchildren have to do so on a measly state pension of less than R1500.00.

  • sinead.combrinck - 2012-09-03 08:54

    I find this unfair towards the grannies because they only get pension which is a little money and raising a child is expensive

  • denny.cray - 2012-09-03 09:05

    I've got no problem with genuine cases where the parents have died and the kids are fostered by a relative. Having kids irresponsibly and fobbing them off on your parents to become theirs (and taxpayers) responsibility is a different story altogether. Even most animals look after their offspring better than that.

  • ndou.miranda - 2012-09-03 10:55

    I personal feel that's wrong. The money that needs to be cut off is the child support grant, I mean why must the government be responsible of ME making babies or other people's tax's for that matter.

  • klasgoran.olsson - 2012-09-03 13:43

    What soceiety is South Africa, letting the most vulnerable people down beside all the previledges for politicians and uppclass ( all colours)

      cynthia.smith.71619533 - 2012-09-03 15:37

      I couldn't agree with you more.

  • cynthia.smith.71619533 - 2012-09-03 14:18

    How absolutely disgusting. There must be thousands of children being cared for by a loving grandmother who probably goes without for herself in order to see to the children. Even on an Old Age Pension of R1200 it is sometimes difficult to get by. Hang your heads in shame all you critics!

  • carl.lutzer.3 - 2012-09-03 17:25

    Why is there no incentive NOT to breed ??? the national pasttime of a certain sector of the population is bankrupting this country.

  • annette.montaguethomas - 2012-10-10 11:53

    Really am concerned to learn this as our small charity has been working out in South Africa since 2001 and its hard enough to raise funds to keep the project going. Orphans and my concern is Ornage Farm where there are thousands of young innocent children. Annette Montague-Thomas The Founder of The Global Natural Healthcare

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