The Department of Social Development strives to enable the poor, vulnerable and the excluded within South African society to secure a better life for themselves.
The Children's Act, 2005 [PDF] provides for the establishment of the National Child Protection Register that lists all persons found unsuitable to work with children.
In terms of this law, childcare facilities, including welfare organisations offering foster care and adoption, are able to check prospective employees, foster parents and adoptive parents against the register.
The Older Persons Act, 2006 [PDF] contains provisions to improve the lives of older South Africans. The main objectives of the Act are to:
- maintain and promote the status, well-being, safety and security of older persons
- recognise the skills and wisdom of older persons
- encourage older persons' participation in community activities to promote them as people.
The amendment of the Social Assistance Act, 2004 [PDF] saw men aged 63 to 64 for the first time qualifying and receiving social assistance grants. The full implementation of the Act ensured that from 2010 men too receive social-assistance grants when they turn 60 years of age.
The Children's Amendment Act, 2007 [PDF] provides for:
- the partial care of children
- early childhood development (ECD)
- further protection of children
- prevention and early-intervention services
- children in alternative care
- foster care
- child- and youth-care centres, shelters and drop-in centres
- certain new offences relating to children
- the plight of child-headed households
- respect for parental rights by providing that no person may take or send a South African child out of the country without consent of parents or guardians
- the discipline of children.
The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) provides social grants to over 15 million beneficiaries, and therefore bears the responsibility to ensure that only legitimate beneficiaries are on the system. To this end, Sassa has intensified mechanisms to reduce fraud and corruption within the social security system. The agency has started with the reregistration process of grant beneficiaries. Between April and the end of May 2012, Sassa managed to get all its cash beneficiaries on a limited biometric card swop. From 1 June 2012, Sassa is undertaking full reregistration of all social grant beneficiaries, including babies, on a comprehensive biometric identification system.
Sassa disburses the following grants:
|Grant per month, 2012/13
State Old-Age Grant
|State Old-Age Grant (over 75)
Foster Child Grant
Care Dependency Grant
Social assistance and security fraud
The Department of Social Development's national facilities to combat fraud and corruption in the social-security system consist of:
- a free-call fax-service number (0800 61 10 11) that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- an e-mail address (email@example.com).
As part of the Anti-Corruption and Fraud Prevention Strategy, internal control systems have been improved and forensic and investigating teams deployed in all provinces.
Since its inception, the Sassa's collaboration with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has reduced fraud and corruption. From 2006, the SIU prosecuted 17 477 people for fraud and corruption relating to grants, including 2 828 people prosecuted in 2010/11. At 5 134, KwaZulu-Natal had the highest prosecutions. Over the five-year period, the SIU recovered R84 904 156, with R25 675 420 recovered during 2010/11. During this process, 6 368 people signed acknowledgments of debt.
War on poverty
The War on Poverty Campaign, which was first piloted in 2008/09, targets service delivery to poor households and monitors household progression out of extreme poverty. Government identified 1 128 of the most deprived municipal wards, where an estimated three million households comprising an estimated 15 million people live in extreme poverty. The campaign is being rolled out and it is planned that by 2014 all the identified wards will be covered.
As part of Child Protection Week (30 May to 4 June 2011) activities, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, officially launched the national ECD Awareness Campaign.
This annual campaign seeks to educate and inform parents, primary caregivers and communities about the importance of quality early learning for children. It also aims to increase the number of registered ECD centres and the number of children benefiting from their services. By March 2012, more than 800 000 children had benefited from ECD services.
The Department of Social Development's contributions to the development of children is one of the primary means to improve society's human capital and over time contribute to a reduction in intergenerational poverty.
Responding to the impact of HIV and AIDS
The department is playing a pivotal role in helping to realise government's vision of a long and healthy life for all South Africans. This will be achieved through social behaviourchange programmes and mitigating the social and economic impact of HIV and AIDS and other chronic illnesses.
The programmes aim to ensure that the department creates AIDS-competent communities and provide psychosocial support through the Home- and Community-Based Care (HCBC) Programme to those affected by and infected with HIV and AIDS.
In 2011, the department strengthened its monitoring and evaluation capacity. The results assisted in enhancing the capacity of communities to deal with HIV and AIDS by generating strategies that are community-driven, thereby placing communities at the centre of HIV and AIDS responses.
The department participates in the ongoing HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) Campaign, ensuring that all people undergoing testing receive appropriate counselling and support.
Home and community-based care (HCBC)
HCBC is one of the programmes selected to contribute to the social sector plan for the Expanded Public Works Programme. Community caregivers in HCBC organisations provide services to individuals, families and communities.
A total of 19 895 community caregivers were trained in aspects such as succession planning; childcare forums; the Children's Act, 2005; psychosocial support, and monitoring and evaluation. More than 1 000 community caregivers were trained in psychosocial well-being.
A monitoring and evaluation system for HCBC was developed and implemented in 341 districts. A computerised HCBC data-capturing system was developed and rolled out in North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Northern Cape. This project was implemented in collaboration with the Department of Health, which acted as the lead department.
Guidelines for support groups and psychosocial support; for children and adults with HIV and AIDS and other chronic conditions were developed.
An audit of HCBC organisations was completed, and the existence of 2 000 organisations was verified.
Services to orphans made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS
The Department of Social Development provides care and support to orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS, and other circumstances. Childcare forums work hand-in-hand with social workers, welfare organisations and other structures in the community to ensure that the identified children get access to appropriate services.
The department has established a number of community- based drop-in centres where children are provided with meals and lunch boxes before they go to school. Caregivers at the drop-in centres also assist children from child-headed households with homework and involve them in lifeskills programmes.
The Department of Social Development is developing a national database of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), which will include child-headed households. The programmes to assist OVC include access to treatment, food, skills training and psychosocial support.
Children are assisted to apply for social grants they are entitled to, for example child-support and faster-care grants.
Community-based care services are rendered at drop-in centres or HCBC centres. The services include:
- provision of cooked meals and food parcels
- assistance with homework for children who are attending school
- capacity-building on parenting and life skills
- psychosocial care and support
- income-generating programmes
- provision of ECD services.
Prevention and treatment of substance and drug abuse
Drug and alcohol abuse in South Africa is high. Estimates are that more than 2,2 million people use cannabis, followed by cocaine, heroin, ecstasy and other substances. Cabinet established the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Social Security Reform tasked with addressing substance abuserelated issues in a coordinated and comprehensive manner.
One of the key activities of this IMC was the hosting of the second Biennial Anti-Substance Abuse Summit in March 2011.
In December 2011, Minister Dlamini launched government's Anti-Alcohol and Substance Abuse Campaign in Cape Town. The campaign's theme is Towards an Alcohol and Drug Abuse Free South Africa − Take a Stand.
The launch follows the approval of a five-year programme of action on anti-alcohol and substance abuse by Cabinet in September 2011. Its aims are to:
- develop policy, review and align liquor registration
- educate and create awareness about substance abuse
- promote equal access to resources across South Africa
- respond to policies and legislation regarding drugs and organised crime
- review institutional mechanisms to prevent and manage alcohol and drug use in the country.
People with disabilities
South Africa was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in 2007.
As a developmental state, South Africa has made strides in improving access to health and social services for persons with disabilities. The free healthcare policy for people with disabilities includes the provision of assistive devices where needed.
In line with its mandate of mainstreaming and oversight, the Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities ensures that each government department commits to clear milestones towards the attainment of 2% employment equity for people with disabilities, and be held accountable for this target.
The Department of Social Development strives to strengthen the capacity of civil society to engage actively in social and economic development, by supporting the following national councils:
Statutory bodies include the National Development Agency (NDA), relief boards and the Central Drug Authority.
National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), formally launched on 16 June 2009, resulted from the merger of the National Youth Commission and Umsobomvu Youth Fund.
As the primary custodian of youth development in the country, the NYDA's mandate is to:
- advance youth development through guidance and support to initiatives across sectors of society and spheres of government
- embark on initiatives that seek to advance the economic development of young people
- develop and coordinate the implementation of the Integrated Youth Development Plan and Strategy for the country.
By September 2011, some of the outcomes included:
- sustaining 61 341 employment opportunities
- training 49 341 young people in entrepreneurship
- training 84 205 young people in the National Youth Service Programme, thus promoting entrepreneurship and patriotism among the youth
- issuing 24 062 loans to young people valued at R60,4 million
- facilitating business opportunities for young people valued at R142,8 million
- providing information to over 1,5 million young people through various access points, including the call centre and its 144 local youth offices.
National Development Agency
The National Ddevelopment Agency (NDA) is a statutory funding agency established in terms of the NDA Act, 1998 [PDF] to contribute towards the alleviation of poverty, address its causes and strengthen the capacity of civil-society organisations to combat poverty.
The key strategic objectives of the NDA are, among other things, to grant funds to civil-society organisations to meet the development needs of poor communities; proactively strengthen organisations' institutional capacity for long-term sustainability; source funds for the NDA; and promote consultation, dialogue and the sharing of development experiences.
Non-profit organisations (NPOs)
The registration of NPOs remains a priority. By 2011, a total of 18 393 applications had been received and processed. Of these, 10 309 met the registration requirements.
Registered NPOs increased to 65 635, representing an increase of more than 14% since 2009.
NPOs have a major role to play in identifying, developing and implementing programmes and projects that promote social development.
Last modified: 26 September 2012 09:46:24.