Black Sash Media Statements

Black Sash calls on needy teens to apply for grants and school fee exemptions - Monday, 11 January 2010

For Immediate Release: Monday, 11 January 2010

The Black Sash urges needy parents of children born on or after 1 October 1994 to apply for the Child Support Grant before the school year gets underway in earnest. Until new regulations came into effect on 1 January 2010, teenagers lost the grant when they turned 15.   The monthly grant of R240 is given to those who earn less than R2400 a month as a single parent or R4800 a month as a married couple. Parents and primary caregivers who receive the grant are automatically exempt from paying school fees.

Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager Phelisa Nkomo says, “We are delighted with the phased extension of the grant to 18 as it means that children born at the dawn of our democracy in 1994 will continue to receive the social protection they were promised in the Constitution.”

But Nkomo warns that some vulnerable youngsters who are now eligible may have “fallen off” the South African Social Security Agency’s (SASSA) computer system when they turned 15 last year. “We call on parents of these children to reapply as soon as possible.”

You don’t need to have an ID book or birth certificate for the child in order to apply for the grant, as long as you can provide an affidavit by a reputable person (such as a school principal) who knows you.  Children who are heading households can also apply for the grant if they are over 16 and looking after younger siblings.  Under the new regulations applicants also should provide their most recent school report. 

Nkomo says the Black Sash is concerned that there may be new applicants who are in need of the grant but whose children are not attending school.  “These children have the right to apply for the grant and to claim the assistance of a social worker.”

The Black Sash would also like to remind parents at this time that if their school has been officially declared a “no fee” school, they don’t have to pay any school fees, including activity or extra mural fees.

While all other State schools are “fee charging” schools, parents are not legally obliged to pay fees if they don’t earn enough money. You can apply for school fee exemptions if your family is in need, but the state does not reimburse the school for this lost income.  Also, you can’t be charged a registration fee, administration fee or be asked to pay fees up front at any State school.

The Black Sash appeals to anyone who is having difficulty in applying for the Child Support Grant or school fee exemptions to please contact our NATIONAL HELPLINE on 072-66-33-739 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for FREE paralegal advice and support.

Read and print out the Black Sash ‘You and Your Rights’ information flyer on the Child Support Grant

Read and print out the Black Sash ‘You and Your Rights’ information flyer on School Fees 

ENDS.

NOTE TO COMMUNITY RADIO PROGRAMME MANAGERS:

The Black Sash continues to be grateful for your collective and steadfast commitment and contribution to making our communities more aware of their socio-economic rights. We would be most grateful if you could assist us again by accommodating the ‘presenter read’ below into your programming schedule over the next few weeks.

PRESENTER READ - JANUARY 2010 - CHILD SUPPORT GRANT + SCHOOL FEES

Did you know that the Child Support Grant has been extended to all needy children born on or after the first of October 1994? Until new regulations came into effect in 2010, teenagers lost the grant when they turned 15.   But now, children under 16 can get the grant.  Even if you don’t have an ID book or birth certificate, you can still apply for the grant.  You can’t be charged school fees if you get the Child Support Grant.  Call the Black Sash HELPLINE on 072-66-33-739 for FREE paralegal advice and support if you have any problems with your grants.  

DUR: 35 seconds

For interview requests, please contact:

Phelisa Nkomo

Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

078-655 7774

www.blacksash.org.za

OR

Ratula Beukman

Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

072-174 3507

www.blacksash.org.za

For more information, please contact:

Sarah Nicklin 
Black Sash Media Officer
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
073-150 9525