At last a foster care grant for Newcastle family

The long wait is over for Bongani Mahlaula of Osizweni township‚ Newcastle‚ who had waited more than a year for a foster care grant for a child in his care.

Last week GroundUp wrote about Mahlaula who had been looking after his 13-year-old orphaned niece‚ Andile Mdluli‚ for a year‚ but had not managed to get the foster care grant transferred to him.

Andile was looked after by her grandmother after the death of her parents. But her grandmother died in October 2017‚ and the foster care grant was stopped.

Mahlaula applied in November 2017 at the Osizweni office of the social development department in Newcastle for the grant to be transferred to him and had been waiting for a social worker to take up his case.

His long wait came to an end soon after GroundUp made contact with the spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development Ncumisa Ndelu‚ who promised to investigate.

A social worker finally visited Mahlaula to examine Andile’s living conditions and sent him to the local office of the SA Social Security Agency (Sassa) to apply for a new grant.

“My application has since been approved. Now I am happy that my niece will finally get her grant‚ come November‚” said Mahlaula.

Sassa spokesperson Kgomoco Diseko had said Mahlaula would be able to claim the grant retrospectively for the year‚ if the delay was on Sassa’s side. According to the letter of approval‚ Mahlaula will receive a first payment of R11‚850.60.

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