Joint Media Statement: BLACK SASH, ACESS and the CHILDREN’S INSTITUTE, UCT.
For Immediate Release: Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Black Sash, ACESS and the Children’s Institute, UCT welcome the amendment of new regulations to allow the needy parents of all children born in 1994 to apply for the Child Support Grant. The new regulations, which came into effect on 1 January 2010, initially excluded those vulnerable youngsters who were born between January and October 1994. But late last week, the Minister of Social Development passed revised regulations, stating that all those born after 31 December 1993 could now apply as well.
Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager Phelisa Nkomo says, “We are delighted with the amendment as it means that at last all children born into a democratic South Africa will be given social assistance when they need it, as promised by our Constitution. This extension will benefit 2 million more children, reducing the daily burden of survival in poor households."
The small poverty-alleviation grant is set to increase by R10 to R250 per month on 1 April 2010. Parents or primary caregivers can apply on behalf of the children in their care if they earn R2 500 or less per month as a single parent, or R5 000 or less per month as a married couple.
Black Sash, ACESS and the Children’s Institute, UCT have been campaigning for more than a decade for the extension of the Child Support Grant to 18. They have argued that their own extensive research, and more recently the government's own studies, have clearly shown that the Child Support Grant contributes significantly towards reducing child poverty and is linked to a decrease in child hunger and child labour, and an increase in school attendance.
The new regulations further link receipt of the grant with school attendance in a progressive and inclusive way. ACESS Director, Kevin Roussel, says, “We welcome the fact that the new regulations do not make school attendance a condition to receiving the grant but still have the power to encourage participation and good service delivery in education in the long run.”
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