Lindiwe Zulu hints at bigger child grant after Covid-19 pandemic is over
Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu has hinted at a possible hike in the amount paid in child support grants after the pandemic.
This comes after a number of complaints about the amount presently paid.
As things stand, the child support grant is R440 a month and it is to be increased by R300 for May and by R500 for caregivers from June to October as part of the Covid-19 economic relief measures announced by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
However, after October, the amount is expected to go back to R440 as the measures were only meant to be temporary.
But on Wednesday, while addressing a press conference of ministers in the social cluster, Zulu said her department was considering a hike in the child support grant, which is the smallest of the social grants.
“We are very conscious of the fact that the child support grant is the lowest, it is actually below the poverty line.
“Our plan is that we don’t want a short-term something. We are doing something now until October but we need to have a conversation as a country with the relevant department, and especially with finance, to look at other ways of ensuring that in future the amount of money that is given for this grant is increased, because all other grants are more than the one of the child support grant,” said Zulu.
She did not explain if there was any deadline or time frames to make this a reality, but she said different organisations were arguing that the department had “shortchanged the children”.
“While I acknowledge that all these proposals were sound and well motivated, we were unfortunately not able to provide the necessary funding to accommodate everyone during [this period],” she said.
She explained that her department was not operating “in isolation” and was not immune to the economic challenges or the government’s budgetary constraints.