Increasing the amount of the Child Support Grant for orphans is government’s latest investment aimed at creating a better life for children living in poverty, says Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu.

Minister Zulu reiterated that the department is encouraging all relatives who are caring for orphaned children to come forward and apply for the Child Support Grant Top-Up at their nearest SASSA offices.

The Minister was updating the nation on the Child Support Grant Top-Up during a media briefing on Monday in Pretoria.

Minister Zulu noted that it was important to mention that the Child Support Grant Top-Up is not a new grant.

She said that the additional R240 to the standard R480 is enabled by a 2015 Cabinet-approved policy.

“The provisions of this policy enables me as the Minister of Social Development to introduce the higher value child support grant top-up for orphans. As a result, on 01 June 2022, and with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, I introduced the Child Support Grant Top-Up.

“By ‘Top-Up’ we mean an additional amount of R240 that supplements the standard Child Support Grant amount of R480. Only relatives caring for an orphaned child can apply for and receive the Child Support Grant Top-Up of R720 per child per month,” the minister said.

Minister Zulu said that all caregivers of orphans should know that the Child Support Grant Top-Up is available at all SASSA offices for them to apply.

“No Social Worker’s report or court order are needed to access the Top-Up. This is designed to improve the accessibility of the CSG programme to, as best as possible, meet the basic needs of orphans.

“South Africans should keep in mind that the only caregiver who needs to see a social worker before they can approach SASSA are children under 18 years who are looking after their orphaned siblings in child-headed households,” she said.

She said that before they approach SASSA, they need to see a social worker who will assess their situation, complete a form in terms of section 137 of the Children’s Act, and provide them with the extra support that they need due to not having an adult in the household.

The minister said that the only additional proof that is required from the caregiving relatives is that the child is an orphan in that both parents are deceased.

“The turnaround time of this application process, verification and payment should be within one month,” the Minister said.