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Draft Regulations on Payment of Social Assistance Drawn Up

January 27, 2021

Department of Social Development

Amendments to the Regulations on the Application for and Payment of Social Assistance have been drawn up.

The social development department called for comment on the proposed regulations in Government Gazette 44099.

The regulations, drawn up in terms of the Social Assistance Act, also focus on the requirements or conditions in respect of eligibility for social assistance.

The draft regulations flow from the Social Assistance Amendment Act, signed in December 2020.

The act seeks to amend the Social Assistance Act of 2004 so as to:

• insert new definitions;
• provide for additional payments linked to social grants;
• provide for payment of benefits to a child-headed household;
• provide for social relief of distress in the event of a disaster;
• repeal the internal reconsideration process;
• provide for an Independent Tribunal to consider appeals against decisions of the Agency;
• provide for the establishment of the Inspectorate as a government component; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

A new section 2A on additional payment linked to older person’s grant is proposed.

An amendment is proposed to section 3 on persons eligible for the disability grant stipulating that “where an application for a disability grant was previously declined on medical reasons, the applicant must furnish proof that there has been a significant deterioration in his or her medical condition”.

A new section 6A on additional payment linked to the child support grant is also proposed.

Amendments are also proposed to section 8 on persons eligible for care-dependency grant, section 9 on persons eligible for social relief of distress, section 10 on procedure to be followed in application for social grant, section 13 on notification of outcome, section 14 on procedure to be followed in application for social relief of distress, section 15 on documents to accompany application for social relief of distress, section 16 on determination of amount and period of social relief of distress, section 19 on determination of means and section 30 on information to be furnished to agency by financial institution.

In Notice 40, the department called for comment on draft amendments to Regulations on Lodging and Adjudication of Appeals for Social Assistance as well as the Appointment of the Independent Tribunal.

Amendments focus on lodging of an appeal through an office of the agency, request for critical documentation from the Independent Tribunal, appointment, composition, legal practitioner, medical practitioner, powers of Independent Tribunal, lodging of appeal, condonation of late lodging of appeal, communication of decision and record keeping.

Comment on both sets of draft regulations is invited within 30 calendar days from the date of publication.