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All you need to know about social grants

Written by Silusapho Nyanda

The South African government is responsible for ensuring that it eradicates poverty.

To achieve this vision the government has several programmes, such as the social grants used to look after those who are disadvantaged.

Social grants are state issued financial support administered by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). They are paid via the Post Office and registered financial institutions, such as banks.

According to SASSA, there are several types of social grants accessible depending on a certain criteria.

These range from the older person's grant, also known as the old age pension, to the child support grant, foster care and disability grant.

Foster care grant

The foster care grant supports people who take care of foster children. SASSA describes a foster child as a child that has been placed in another person’s  custody by a court as a result of being orphaned, abandoned, at risk, abused or neglected.

According to the agency, in order to receive the foster care grant an applicant must do the following:

  • The child and foster parent must reside in South Africa.
  • The foster parent must be a South African citizen, permanent resident or refugee.
  • The foster child must be legally placed in the foster parent’s care.

Foster parents receive
R1 000 from SASSA monthly, for the duration of fostering a child. The court usually sets a two-year period for fostering, after which it is reviewed.

“Foster parents will be advised three months in advance of the need to review the grant,” SASSA said.

In addition, foster parents who receive money through the bank, an institution or procurator are required to fill in a life certificate which is a document that proves that the foster parent is still alive. This is done at SASSA offices.

Parents applying annually for a grant to foster a child must take the following documents to their nearest SASSA offices:

  • The child’s identity document or birth certificate.
  • An affidavit on a standard SASSA form, that has been completed in the presence of a Commissioner of Oaths who is not a SASSA official.
  • A sworn statement signed by a reputable person who knows the foster parent and the child.
  • A road to health clinic card if available.
  • The child’s school certificate.
  • A court order that placed the child in the care of the foster parent.

Child support grant The child support grant is designed to support children who are born into disadvantaged homes.

In order to qualify for the child support grant the child’s primary caregiver, such as a parent, grandparent or a child over the age of 16 heading a family must adhere to the following:

The caregiver cannot earn more than R48 000 per year if they are single and R96 000 if married.

Be a South African citizen or permanent resident.

A caregiver cannot get the child support grant for more than six children who are not biological theirs or legally adopted children.

When will the childís grant lapse?

The grant will lapse:

  • If the child passes away.
  • If the child is absent from the country.
  • At the end of the month in which the child turns 18.

How will you be paid?

SASSA pays grants through one of the following methods:

  • Cash at a specific pay point on a particular day.
  • Electronic deposit into the bank or Postbank account.
  • Through an institution acting as administrator of the grant.