Joint Press Statement: Social grants extended to vulnerable refugees

Joint Press Statement:  PASSOP and Scalabrini Centre Welcome Social Grants for Vulnerable Refugees

Passop and Scalabrini Centre welcome the recent amendments to the Social Assistance Act 2004.  As South Africans, by extending eligibility for social assistance to refugees we have taken an important step towards helping more desperate and vulnerable people living within our country.  Not only will these amendments assist countless impoverished refugees, it will also make South Africa a better place to live for all citizens.  People who live in abject poverty, without any assistance, must find a way to support themselves and their families.  Because of this, they are often forced to accept low wages and poor working conditions out of desperation.  By extending social assistance to more people and diminishing their desperation, we not only improve refugees’ lives but also the lives of all workers in South Africa.  In this way, all of South Africa benefits from these amendments.

Passed on 3 March 2012 and now taking effect (since 1 April 2012), the amendments effectively extend eligibility for social assistance to refugees living in South Africa.  As long as refugees maintain their legal status, they are eligible for social assistance grants.  This includes the children of refugees as well.  However, if the parent or primary caregiver of a child ceases to be a refugee under South African law, then they are no longer eligible to receive a social assistance grant.

Click here to view the new regulations.

For comment, please phone Braam Hanekom at 0843191764 or Miranda Madikane at 0833803572.

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