Answer to a question from a reader

What should I do if my children's SASSA cards have been left with a moneylender?

The short answer

You have to contact SASSA.

The whole question

Dear Athalie

My wife left our children's SASSA cards at a moneylender but I am the one who has been taking care of our kids for the last two years. What can I do?

The long answer

To get a child support grant from SASSA, you must be the primary caregiver and the children must be living with you. It is a means-tested grant and as of July 2021 a single parent could not earn more than R55,000 a year or R4,600 a month to qualify for the grant. A couple could not earn more than R110,400 a year or R9,200 a month. The grant can be suspended by SASSA if circumstances change and you no longer qualify in terms of the means test.

If your wife gets the child support grant for the children, which is currently R460 per child, and leaves the SASSA cards at the moneylenders, presumably as security for loans, are the children still living with her? Or are they now living with you? Or are you and your wife still living together with the children, but you are now the one looking after them?

The child support grant may also be suspended by SASSA if the child is no longer in a person’s care.

You can contact SASSA at:

SASSA Toll free helpline: 0800 60 10 11

In terms of the Children’s Act of 2005, which is the law that protects children, both parents are equal guardians of their children, and the duty to support their children goes on until the children are self-supporting. The Children’s Act emphasises early interventions to assist families that are experiencing conflict to resolve their conflicts in the best interests of the children, so that the family unit is not broken up, and the children are not placed in alternate care. An early intervention could be through a social worker visiting and checking on the children’s welfare.

Every magistrate’s court is also a Children’s Court and the following matters can be taken to the Children’s Court: 

  • the protection and well-being of a child;

  • the care of, or contact with a child;

  • support of a child;

  • the provision of early childhood development services;

  • prevention or early intervention services;

  • maltreatment, abuse, neglect, degradation or exploitation of a child, except criminal prosecutions in this regard;

  • the temporary safe care of a child.

A social worker could assist if you were struggling to cope on your own and were concerned about the children’s welfare. You could go to the Children’s Court and request the court to send a social worker. 

You could also contact the Social Services Department and ask to speak to a social worker at 021 370 4800.

Alternatively, you could contact an organisation like BADISA whose slogan is “…an organisation bringing hope in the communities where they work”.

Address: 11 Pastorie St, Bellville, Cape Town, 7535

Tel: 021 957 713

Wishing you the best,

Answered on Nov. 11, 2021, 4:38 p.m.

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Please note. We are not lawyers or financial advisors. We do our best to make the answers accurate, but we cannot accept any legal liability if there are errors.