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WELFARE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 FEBRUARY 1998
DRAFT REGULATIONS IN TERMS OF SOCIAL ASSISTANCE ACT, 1992
Documents handed out: Regulations regarding the phasing out of maintenance grants in terms of the Social Assistance Act, 1992 as amended by the Welfare Laws Amendment Act, 1997.
Adv. Masuto (Senior Legal Administration Officer) took the committee through the draft Regulations. The Regulations are intended to provide for social assistance generally, for the phasing out of old maintenance grants and the establishment of the new child support grant.
The phasing out programme is targeted to begin on the 1 April 1998 and consequently the child support section of the new Act should be implemented from the 1 April 1998. The President has already signed the legislation but this legislation has yet to be published. The reason for this is that these regulations are not in their final draft (‘lay person’s version’) and urgently need to be finalised this week.
Definitions were discussed at length, including ‘named person’, ‘regular income’, ‘rural areas’ (everything else is urban), point 6 (a) – (n) ‘documents required’ and ‘primary care-giver’. ‘Primary care-giver’ is still in contention.
With regards to point 6 (a) – (n) ‘documents required’ it was agreed that this section was too complicated. Ms Turok (ANC) suggested that the old regulations be printed separately from the new regulations to avoid confusion. Ms George (NP) suggested that small booklets be produced separately so that each grant can be easily identified and regulations followed. A training manual has been introduced in order to make the regulations more reader-friendly, particularly in the rural areas.
Regarding point 12 (3),
12 (3) A primary care-giver shall qualify for the amount refwerred to in regulation 12 (1) if -
(a) the regular income of the household of the primary care-giver is below R9 600 per annum; or
(b) the regular income of the household of the primary care-giver is below R13 200 per annum and the child and the primary care-giver either:
(i) live in a rural area; or
(ii) live in a house without brick, concrete or asbestos walls.
it was agreed to eliminate the discrimination between different types of housing and the department will work on permutations within the confines of the budget. Ms Gandhi (ANC) suggested that a mean of approximately R900pm in total household income, be used as the cut-off point for an application for a grant.
The meeting is scheduled to continue on Thursday the 25th February 1998 at 3:30 p.m.
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