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R4bn for NC grant beneficiaries

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“Children have been moved to alternative facilities for the duration of the renovations.”

Martha Bartlett

THE SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) is expected to fund over 490 000 Northern Cape beneficiaries who are dependent on social grants, to the amount of R4 billion for the 2019/20 financial year.

Of this amount, R1.5 billion has been allocated for old age grants and R1.3 billion for child support grants.

Delivering the budget speech this week, the MEC for the Department of Social Development, Martha Bartlett, said that
R17.8 million would be directed to relieve social distress in the provision of food parcels, vouchers for school uniforms and blankets.

She said R26.6 million would be used to provide nutritious meals to poor and vulnerable households and individuals at 143 nutrition centres across the Province.

Bartlett stated that R116 million had been allocated towards social crime prevention and victim empowerment.

She said that they would collaborate with the police to station social workers at police stations and shelters so that abused women and children could be provided with psychosocial support services.

“R60 million will be used to address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children, while R27 million will go towards accommodating and providing psychosocial support.”

Bartlett said that the Lerato Place of Safety would undergo renovations over the next 18 months. “Children have been moved to alternative facilities for the duration of the renovations.”

She added that R44 million would be used for the prevention and treatment of substance abuse.

Bartlett stated that R9.7 million would be used to fund three 24-hour residential care facilities for persons with disabilities, while R2.2 million would be directed to seven protective workshops for persons with disabilities.

She said the department would continue to fund 55 service community-based centres for older persons.

“We will also be strengthening our services in terms of residential care for both older persons and persons with disabilities. The department will therefore continue to fund 24 residential facilities which provide a 24-hour service frail care facilities in the Province. We have allocated R8.8 million to ensure we respond to the needs and challenges of our older persons in a comprehensive manner.”

She stated that the absorption of social work students remained a challenge.

“There are currently 10 unemployed social work graduates. The national Department of Social Development has taken a decision to dissolve the National Social Work Scholarship Programme against the backdrop of the free higher education and training for the less fortunate through th eNational Student Financial Aid Scheme and to redirect such funding towards the employment of unemployed social work graduates and other social services professions.”

Bartlett added that 400 work opportunities would be created through the Expanded Public Works programme through funding amounting to R10.7 million.

She said the department was in the process of insourcing the contracts that were previously concluded with Bosasa including the De Aar and Namakwa Child and Youth Care Centres.

“We have given Bosasa notice of termination and will therefore be insourcing these two facilities with effect from November 1. The insourcing of Bosasa will result in the insourcing of 143 jobs in line with the premier’s call for the insourcing of outsourced services to ensure decent employment.”

Total budget allocation:
R 920 million

Social welfare services:
R133 million

Children and families:
R299 million

Restorative Services:
R180 million

Research and Development: R152 million

Administration: R153 million.

Early childhood development services: R 91,7 million

Technical training for 100 young people: R2 million