Everything you need to know about social grants

Issa Saunders
Information
An overview of South Africa's social grant system and how to apply for social assistance.

For a developing country South Africa has a well-established social welfare system and a large proportion of social spending goes towards social grants. According to Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan's budget speech "substantial growth in social spending over the past decade has financed a threefold increase in the number of people receiving social grants" and over 15 million people in South Africa now receive cash transfers from the state. Since the gradual extension of the Child Support Grant to children up to the age of 18, spending on social assistance has increased an average of 11% per year and will increase to R120 billion in the 2014/15 financial year.

Social Grants are in place to improve standards of living and redistribute wealth to create more equitable society. The Sections 24 through 29 of the Bill of Rights in the South African constitution recognise the socio-economic rights of citizens, including the right to social security. The government is obligated to progressively realise these rights, meaning that "the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right."1

The government's 1997 White Paper on Social Development stated that “social security system is essential for healthy economic development, particularly in a rapidly changing economy, and will contribute actively to the development process. It is important for immediate alleviation of poverty and is a mechanism for active redistribution.”

In 2004, the South African Social Security Agency Act created SASSA, which is mandated to “ensure the provision of comprehensive social security services against vulnerability and poverty within the constitutional legislative framework”.

In keeping with its constitutional obligations and the principles of administrative justive, SASSA currently administers 6 social grants:

• Grant for older persons

• Disability grant

• War veterans grant

• Care dependency grant

• Foster child grant

• Child support grant

Each grant has a different set of requirements and provisions.

Grant for older persons

In order to be eligible for the grant applicants must be South African citizens, permanent residents and currently residing in South Africa. The age of eligibility is 60 years old. Applicants must not be recipients of other grants. They must not be cared for in a state institution. Applicants have to comply with a means test to demonstrate their need. Single applicants must not earn more than R47 400 a year or have assets worth more than R792 000. For married applicants the combined income requirements are no more than R94 800 and assets no more than R1 584 000. Successful applicants will receive at most R1 200 a month. Applicants over the age of 75 will receive R1 220. Minister Pravin Gordin announced in the 2013-2014 budget speech that in October the amount that people aged 60 and older receive will increase to R1 260. There is also a proposal to phase out the means test altogether.

Disability grant

In order to be eligible for the grant applicants must be South African citizens or permanent residents and currently residing in South Africa. The age of eligibility is 18 to 59 years old. Applicants must submit a medical report not more than three months old at the time of application that confirms their disability. Applicants must not be recipients of other grants. They must not be cared for in a state institution. Applicants have to comply with a means test to demonstrate their need. Single applicants must not earn more than R47 400 a year or have assets worth more than R792 000. For married applicants the combined income requirements are no more than R94 800 and assets no more than R1 584 000. Successful applicants will receive at most R1 200 a month. In the 2013-2014 budget speech, Minister Pravin Gordin announced that this grant will increase to R1 260 a month in October.

War veteran’s grant

In order to be eligible for the grant applicants must be South African citizens or permanent residents and currently residing in South Africa. Applicants must be over the age of 60 or disabled. Applicants must have fought in World War I, World War II or the Korean War. Applicants must not be recipients of other grants. They must not be cared for in a state institution. Applicants have to comply with a means test to demonstrate their need. Single applicants must not earn more than R47 400 a year or have assets worth more than R792 000. For married applicants the combined income requirements are no more than R94 800 and assets no more than R1 584 000. Successful applicants will receive at most R1 220 a month.

Care dependency grant

In order to be eligible for the grant applicants must be South African citizens or permanent residents and currently residing in South Africa. The child must also reside in South Africa. The child must be under the age of 18. Applicants must submit a medical report confirming the permanent and severe disability of the child. He or she must not be cared for in a state institution. Applicants have to comply with a means test unless they are foster parents to demonstrate their need. Single applicants must not earn more than R144 000 a year and married applicants must not earn more than R288 000 a year. Successful applicants will receive at most R1 200 a month.

Foster child grant

In order to be eligible for the grant both the applicant and the child he or she cares for must live in South Africa. The child must be under the age of 18 years old. There must be a court order indicating foster status. The foster parent must be a South African citizen, permanent resident, or refugee. There is no means test for foster parents. The child must remain in the care of the foster parent. Successful applicants will receive R770 a month. In the 2013-2014 budget speech, Minister Pravin Gordin announced that this grant will increase to R800 in October.

Child support grant

In order to be eligible for the grant applicants must be South African citizens or permanent residents and currently residing in South Africa. They must be the primary care giver of a child who also resides with them in South Africa. If not the biological parent of the child, applicants must provide proof of their primary caregiver status. This could be in the form of an affidavit from a police official, a social worker’s report, an affidavit from the biological parent of the child or a letter from the school principal of the child. Children must be born after 31 December 1993. They must not be cared for in a state institution. Applicants cannot apply for more than six non-biological or legally adopted children. Applicants have to comply with a means test to demonstrate their need. Single applicants must not earn more than R33 600 and married applicants combined must not earn more than R67 000. Successful Applicants will receive no more than R280 a month per child. In the 2013-2014 budget speech, Minister Pravin Gordin announced that this grant will increase to R290 a month in April and R300 a month in October.

The South African Social Security Agency pays the grant either through cash at a specific pay point on a particular day or and electronic deposit into the applicant’s bank or Postbank account.

How to apply

Applicants should apply at the SASSA office nearest to where they live. If they are too old or too sick to apply for the grant at the office they may have a friend or family member apply on their behalf.

Applicants will complete application forms in the presence of a SASSA officer. When applicants hand in their application they will be given a receipt as proof of application. The application is FREE. Applicants will receive a written notification if their application is denied. They have the right to ask for reconsideration.

Applicants must provide proof of identity. Those who do not have a 13-digit bar coded Identity Book or birth certificate for children may provide alternative documentation. They should contact their nearest SASSA office to find out which documents are accepted.

SASSA Hotline 0800 601 011

SASSA offices Western Cape

Regional Office Physical Address: Golden Acre Adderly Street, Cape Town Postal Address: Private Bag, X9189, Cape Town, 8000 Telephone: (021) 469 0200

Caledon Physical Address: Melofin Building C/O>Birfwood Street and Klipfontein, Athlone, 7760 Postal Address: 10 Plein Street, Caledon, 7234 Telephone: (028) 214 3000

Cape Town Physical Address: 48 Queen Victoria Street, 8000 Postal Address: P.O. Box 131, Cape Town, 8000 Telephone: (021) 481 9700

Eerste River Physical Address: 42 Main Road, Eerste River, 7100 Postal Address: Private Bag X1 Telephone: (021) 904 1021

George Physical Address: Rentzburghof, 42 Courtney Street, George, 7100 Postal Address: Private Bag, X6508 Telephone: (044) 801 4300

Gugulethu Physical Address: C/O Bishops Court and Fezeka, Gugulethu, 7760 Postal Address: Private Bag, X11, Athlone, 7760 Telephone: (021) 638 5151/2/3/4

Khayelitsha Physical Address: Julius Tsolo Street, Khayelitsha (near station) Postal Address: Private Bag, X001 Telephone: (021) 364 1330

Mitchell’s Plain Physical Address: 45 Alpha Street, Wespoort Park, Mitchell Plain Postal Address: Private Bag, X10 Telephone: (021) 370 4800

For other information regarding social grants check out the SASSA website.

http://www.sassa.gov.za

To find SASSA offices outside of the Western Cape, look at this page or call the SASSA hotline.

http://www.sassa.gov.za/OFFICES/SASSA-SERVICE-CENTRES-657.aspx

Footnotes


  1. Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Act, No. 108 of 1996, Bill of Rights, Chapter 2, Section 27(2) 

Comments

Submitted by Mosele sylvia majola on

Hi
i would like to know about this new childgrant loan from sasa,please send me all the info

Submitted by adrean on

How do i apply

Submitted by Marci sithole on

Pls can u tell me hw can i apply 4 a sassa loan

Submitted by portia namba on

I want to know about sassa loan and how to apply

Submitted by llewellyn on

Hi Would like to know whether Downsindrome is a Disability according to Sassa

Submitted by Relyn on

Hi im nw working permanet job and i go to district SASA Offices to cancel my child grant money, so when i get there they ask me salary advice and i give the i started to work on january.and we have agreed that im going to start paying the money from february until may,bt at the end of June and July the money reported into my account and for nw i am far with SASA Office,why the officer who helped me fail to cancel ,he wnt me to be arrested , i agreed to pay R290.00 monthly starting end of July,help worried mom i want dis money to be given to the parent who a nt working

Submitted by hennie on

How do I go about canciling my grand in one provonce and reaplay in a other province and what do I need or can it just be transfured

Submitted by maria Dube on

Hi there

if i need to find out about my child he is recieving social grand without my permission how will i know do i have to provide the ID number for my child

Submitted by richard on

Hi there
I need to know that my childrens did receiving social grant cause each and every months I surport them

Submitted by thandeka on

hi i would like to know that is it true that you can apply for a loan with a sassa card and if yes wher do i go

Submitted by Tshidi mofokeng on

Hi i would like to know i can apply a loan with a sassa card,if yes where can i go

Submitted by lucy on

Can you please assist me with info about the re registration of the sosial grant

Submitted by Bukeka on

Kubuhlungu ngoba ndihlheli nomtwana iminyaka her mother passed away but imali yakhe idliwa ngu Aunt wakhe ekhaya KZN yena ulapha eJHB uhlala nam. Siyicelile imali kuye akasithukanga ushiye angalazi.kodwa lo mtu une 7years esitya le mali yalomtwana help plz I'd no 0004131182083

Submitted by Gabby on

To everyone who has been posting queries about their social grants, the best thing to do is to call the SASSA Hotline on 0800 60 10 11. It is toll-free if you call from a Telkom landline.

If you are having a bigger problem that they cannot help you with then please call or SMS Black Sash on 072 66 33 739 - I think you can even send them a please call me if you don't have airtime. They give free paralegal advice

Submitted by lindy on

Hai please I need to know what documents I must have if I wana apply fot the childs grant?

Submitted by busisiwe on

hy i like to no what kind off ppl get a sassa vounchs . If u get grant for three can u get a sassa loan and u blacklisted gud dy

Submitted by amanda lomthand... on

Good morning I would like to know about child grant loan please send me the ditails about it

Thank you have a good day

Submitted by Sonto on

Hi
i jst wanna find out that,some people they get grant on the 1st of the month some they get on the 3rd, i want to know that is it me who is left behind ,the dates maybe are the same

Submitted by phumi on

Hi,

I receive child support grant for my son but I have been away for the past 3months and leaving him with my mum who seem to have lost the sassa card, how do i apply for a new one?

Submitted by aletta kemp on

good day,i hope u can assist me,i have been trying to arrange a home visit for my daughter who I care for. she is disabled and in a wheelchair, I am an elderly lady with a bad hip and cant get her to any sassa office.i have been on the phone weekly trying to arrange a home visit for her without any success, this has been going on since February 2013 and no luck like I said weekly phone calls and spoke to so many different people I have all their names and all the dates I spoke to them but still no further than what I was Feb 2013 I was told she is on the system for a home visit, just to be told this morning she is not. what I want to know is what do I do now also when u phone any of the sassa no. out of every twenty calls u make u are lucky if u get them to answer one call, the mail box is full or u have to hold for a agent so can u imagine the cost in telephone bills I have been paying since Feb62013 please tell me what to do

2013

Submitted by Thoko on

Ngicela ukubuza ukuthi uma ingane ithola i grant kodwa ubaba wayo engazi, ibe amkhokhela isondlo nyangazonke, ngeke kwafaka lobaba enkingeni uma kutholakala ukuthi uhola imali engaphezulu kuleshiwo ngu Sassa

Submitted by Thoko on

Ngicela ukubuza ukuthi uma ingane ithola i grant kodwa ubaba wayo engazi, ibe amkhokhela isondlo nyangazonke, ngeke kwafaka lobaba enkingeni uma kutholakala ukuthi uhola imali engaphezulu kuleshiwo ngu Sassa

Submitted by janine jooste on

Hi there
I would like to know where I can apply for a Sassa loan? I am in Port Elizabeth.

Kind Regards,
J.Jooste

Submitted by SBS on

My aunt receives the R1 260 disability grant but she only received R820. She did not withdraw any money or make any purchases with the card prior... In fact the SASSA slips show that SASSA only loaded R820 instead of R1 260, when inquiring at her local pay-point she was told to call the number at the back of the card, she called the number but it was a call centre and she was on hold for 56 minutes without anyone answering. Is there any other way she can get help? She would like to know why she did not receive the full amount. What happened to the rest. A response would be appreciated.

Kindly e-mail on the e-mail address above should you require any information or her contact details.

Thanks.