- It is better to make a difference than to be rich, according to Susan Steinman, head of the Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Economy at the University of Johannesburg.
Steinman says South Africa needs to stimulate social enterprises which focus on creating businesses for the primary purpose of social development.
"While start-up social enterprises are grant-dependent, mature social enterprises trade in goods or services to raise income for the social purpose and in many cases show a profit," she explains.
To read the article titled, “Social enterprise will lift SA out of poverty,” click here.Source:Sowetan
- The chairperson of the National Development Agency (NDA), Malose Kekana, has called for different ways to alleviate poverty in the country.
Speaking at the appointment of the new NDA board in Johannesburg, Kekana pointed out that the one thing that the NDA has to do is to tap into those initiatives and leverage the little money that it has in order to reach more people.
Kekana says a lot of money is spent on grants and 80 percent of the budget went to indigent communities, “And we know that they spend it on food." He further says that another approach is to use respected individuals within the communities to lead poverty alleviation programmes.
To read the article titled, “Steps to alleviate poverty,” click here.Source:Sowetan
- The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), which distributes social grants to more than 14 million people, has received a disclaimer from the Auditor-General, due to poor record-keeping in the past financial year.
The agency’s 2009-10 annual report was only filed in Parliament last week, several months after its due date. The financial statements were submitted to Auditor-General’s office only in August last year, instead of before May 31 as required by law.
A disclaimer is the worst audit opinion on financial statements. It means there is not sufficient evidence to provide a basis for an audit opinion.
To read the article titled, “Social security agency audit gets disclaimer,” click here.Source:Business Day
- The Regional Hunger and Vulnerability Programme (RHVP) says Southern African countries have some of the world's worst income distribution, but can often afford social transfers, which have proved an efficient means of reducing the number of poor.
RHVP director, Nicholas Freeland, points out that, “Money can always be found - where there is political will there is always a way."
RHVP's Freeland states that at the time when developed countries like the UK and Sweden introduced social transfers such as old-age pensions, they had not been not particularly well-off but had gone ahead because of the ‘huge inequalities’ that existed.
To read the article titled, “Social transfers reduce poverty,” click here.Source:All Africa
- Two women have been arrested for allegedly defrauding the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) of about R4 million in KwaZulu-Natal.
Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge of the South African Police Service, points out that the suspects would assist people who wanted to receive illegal grants from the agency with applications.
Mdunge says that, “People would apply for grants under false pretences of being ill and the women would allegedly assist them in receiving the grants." He argues that once the application is approved for a grant, the suspects would either split the money with the false applicants or keep the money for themselves.
To read the article titled, “SASSA employees accused of fraud,” click here .Source:Independent Online
- The Department of Social Development has tabled an amendment to the Social Assistance Act that CSOs believe may worsen the department's enormous backlog in responding to grant appeals.
The Social Assistance Bill, which was introduced by social development minister, Edna Molewa, last month, defines the term ‘disability’ and attempts to further regulate eligibility for disability grants.
Black Sash advocacy programme manager, Ratula Beukman, argues that one consequence of the proposed amendment is that it will prevent people with chronic illnesses, such as asthma, hypertension or even HIV, from accessing disability grants.
To read the article titled, “Social grants Bill slammed” click here
- The Mpumalanga Province has already introduced the long-awaited ‘year extension’ for child support grants.
Authorities says that since last month they have increased the maximum period in which a child would get a grant from the previous ‘ceiling’ age of 14 to at least 15 years this year.
The South African Social Security Agency spokesperson, Senzeni Ngubeni, says that, “The year extension is an ongoing process in which by January 1 2011 and 2012 the maximum year will increase to ages 16 and 17.”
To read the article titled, “SASSA extends grant to 15-year-olds,” click here.
- The National Working Group on Social Security has called on government to increase the number of people accessing social grants to alleviate poverty.
In its recent submission to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), the coalition’s Isabelle Frye, who is also director at Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute, pointed out that, “President Jacob Zuma acknowledged that social grants remain the main effective form of poverty alleviation.”
Frye argues that, “But he hasn’t at least announced the extension of the child support grant to children aged 15 to 18, particularly since he stressed the importance of secondary school enrolment.”
To read the article titled, “NGOs call for more grants to alleviate poverty,” click here.Source:<br /> Sowetan
- Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) says there is a correlation between lack of access to basic services and households requiring grants.
In its report into state delivery of grants for the past five years, Stats SA argues that children who live in households that receive social grants are more likely to attend school than children in low-income households that do not.
Stats SA identified lack of education or illiteracy as contributing to dependence on social grants.
Meanwhile, the government plans to reduce dependence on social grants in the long term. In 2008, three percent of gross domestic product was spent on social grants.
To read the article titled, “Children on social grants more likely to go to school,” click here.
Source:<br /> Business Day
Two South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) members have appeared in separate Limpopo courts for allegedly defrauding the agency of more than R100 000.
Police Superintendent Mohale Ramatseba, says one of the accused, Joel Makwela, was arrested at the Mookgopong SASSA department after he allegedly defrauded it of R76 610 between 2004 and 2008.
Makwela was claiming disability and child support grants for the wife and a child, although his wife is not disabled. Makwela's wife, Francina, also appeared in the Polokwane Magistrate's Court on charges of fraud.
To read the article titled, “SASSA officials in court for fraud,” click here.Source:Independent Online