The Black Sash welcomes the final implementation of the phased extension of the Child Support Grant to all needy children under the age of 18. The amended regulations, which extend the age of eligibility for the grant to 18 years, came into effect on 1 January 2012 and mark a significant milestone in our long journey to realise the Constitutional rights of all our children to social assistance.
Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager Nkosikhulule Nyembezi says the extension means that all children born into our democracy (in 1994 or afterwards) are able to apply for the grant. “The Child Support Grant is internationally recognised as one of the most significant interventions in our fight to reduce child poverty. Our own research and experience, as well as recent government studies, have clearly shown that the grant is linked to a decrease in child hunger and child labour, as well as an increase in school attendance," insists Nyembezi.
The small monthly grant of R270 is available to those who earn less than R2600 a month as a single parent or R5200 a month as a married couple. Primary caregivers and children who are heading households can also apply for the grant if they are over 16 and looking after younger siblings.
Black Sash KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Director Evashnee Naidu says those receiving the Child Support Grant are automatically exempt from paying school fees. “Under the revised regulations, those applying for the grant should provide their most recent school report. However, children who are not attending school still have the right to apply for, and receive the grant, but they will also need to claim their right to the assistance of a social worker,” explains Naidu.
The Black Sash would also like to remind caregivers at this time that children placed in orphanages, youth care centres or in the care of a family member or foster parents are also automatically exempt from paying school fees. And if your school has been officially declared a “no fee” school, you 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.
For interview requests, please contact:
Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager
Cell: 082-429 4719
Black Sash KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Director
Cell: 084-430 6133