A Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) family, who are refugees in South Africa, were left cash-strapped for months after their children’s social grant card was rejected several times at South African Social Security Agency (SASSA).
The father, who is concerned that someone was fraudulently collecting his family’s grants, says his five South African-born children aged between 10 months and 10 years were approved to receive the grants, but have not received anything for months.
Meanwhile, SASSA spokesperson, Kgomoco Diseko, points out that, “The money was not collected until June and it lapsed. If a grant is not collected for three months, it lapses.”
To read the article titled, “DRC family’s grant card rejected,” click here.Source:The Citizen
Mining magnate Patrice Motsepe tried to convince students at the Tshwane University of Technology, in Pretoria, that being a billionaire is overrated.
Speaking during the latest leg of the Motsepe Foundation’s roadshow to listen to suggestions on development projects, Motsepe pointed out that, “Money is very, very important but having it doesn't mean you'll be happy. So always pursue what you think makes you happy."
He further told the students that when they apply for money from his Foundation, it is a grant, a gift, adding that all he is asking is that, “…when you're done, please try to help where you come from. We don't want you to pay us back.”
To read the article titled, “Being a billionaire is overrated: Motsepe,” click here.Source:Sowetan Live
- The Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) presented the draft Lotteries Amendment Bill to the portfolio committee on Trade and Industry in Parliament.
This Bill is long overdue. For several years South Africans working in the non-governmental organisation (NGO) sector and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have raised the alarm on several matters of serious concern over the way in which funds are distributed and the National Lotto Board (NLB) is run.
But, the Bill still contains some big gaps that need to be filled if the Lotto is to be transparent, corruption free and beneficial to all South Africans. The DA will work for several important amendments to the draft Bill, including:
Firstly, the Bill allows Minister Rob Davies to licence a government department or state-owned enterprises to run the lotto, based on ‘justifiable grounds’ and ‘government priorities’. This definition is far too unclear and opens the way for abuse, inefficiency and corruption. The grounds on which the Minister may do this need to be clearly and strictly defined to ensure that the state only takes over the management of the Lotto in situations where the licensee is unable to perform the job;
Secondly, the DA will push for the inclusion of mandatory time frames for grant decisions. NGOs have long bemoaned the fact that they wait months and even years for a reply to their funding applications, which jeopardises the good work that they do in communities across the country. The Bill should bind the distributing agencies to replying to applications in 60 days or less;
Third, the ‘miscellaneous’ category of grants should be done away with. It is this category that has been the source of most of the controversial grants made over the past few years, including the R40 million grant to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) International Youth Festival and R1 million to Congress of the South African Trade Unions (COSATU) for their birthday party. The definition of what constitutes ‘miscellaneous’ funding allows the distributing agency complete discretion to fund whatever it likes, which results in poorly considered and controversial grants;
Fourth, the legislation must make provision for multi-year funding applications by NGOs who rely on funding certainty over time periods of more than just the current one year. Many NGOs wish to invest in expensive capital equipment or facilities, but cannot do so because of the lack of any firm funding commitments over the medium term. Currently, the distribution agencies only consider multi-year applications from sports and arts bodies, but not from social charities which deliver crucial social services in poor communities. This severely limits their ability to invest and so the quality of the services they provide.
Poverty, and the government's inability to deliver basic services, has left millions of South Africans dependant on NGO assistance.
We believe that, if the reforms outlined above are incorporated into the National Lotteries Amendment Bill, they will make a significant impact on the NLB's functioning, and the financial security of many NGOs.
This will finally enable the NLB to become a force for social upliftment, rather than a vehicle for political patronage.
- Geordin Hill Lewis, Democratic Alliance’s shadow minister of trade and industry.
- President, Jacob Zuma, says close to 15 million South Africans obtain social grants from the Department of Social Development.
Speaking in Cape Town where he delivered his State of the Nation Address 2011, Zuma pointed out that, “We will phase in the extension of the Child Support Grant to cover eligible children under the age of 18 years.”
He further said that since his administration is building a developmental and not a welfare state, the social grants will be linked to economic activity and community development, to enable short-term beneficiaries to become self-supporting in the long run.
For more about the State of the Nation Address 2011, click here.Source:South African Government Online
- Social Development Minister, Edna Molewa, has defended the government’s track record on welfare grants as a job ‘well done’, but insisted that the grants are not intended to be a permanent feature of South Africa’s social development geography.
Molewa’s remarks followed economist, Mike Schussler’s comments that the country is the largest welfare state in the world and that the current rate of three people on grants for every taxpayer is unsustainable.
Molewa says that the grants were not intended to be permanent, particularly for young women, the idea being to empower them to take advantage of educational and economic opportunities.
To read the article titled, “Welfare grants will not be permanent,” click here.
- Weaknesses in the social security system have resulted in many children continuing to live in dire poverty. This is according to Social Development Minister, Edna Molewa.
Molewa, who released a review of orphans' benefits, says that the problem has become even more serious because of the recession.
The report has found that many children and families struggle to access pension funds to which they are legally entitled to, resulting in many continuing to live in poverty. It also concludes that there is poor communication between funds and beneficiaries - this result in claimants failing to access their funds after the death of parents.
To read the article titled, “Social security a disgrace,” click here.
Source:<br /> News24