Linathi (10) and Abongile (12) are orphans. Both their father and their mother have passed away. Although they were taken in by their maternal grandmother, she did not care for her grandchildren properly. She was receiving their child support grants every month, but the children were often hungry and didn't always go to school. She was misusing their money for her own needs.
Their other granny, Ntombizodwa, was worried about her grandchildren. She took them home to live with her. The problem was that the maternal grandmother wouldn't cancel the grant and Ntombizodwa was struggling to provide for them on her own. In August 2013, she went to the SASSA office to explain the situation and to make an application. But every time she went to the office to follow up, officials promised her that they were trying to deal with her case.
It was then that she heard about Beautiful Gate and came to visit our social workers.
Our social worker wrote a referral letter to SASSA, explaining the situation and asked them to cancel the grant in favour of the maternal grandmother. Each month Beautiful Gate supported her family with food parcels while she was waiting. We also helped with follow ups, taking the matter up with the SASSA branch manager.
After a long wait, Ntombizodwa was rewarded, with a back payment of cash, and the monthly grant being paid to her.
Some interesting facts...
Beautiful Gate's Family Services includes providing access to grants, short term food relief, advice and referrals for 240 families each year to help them stay together and find long-term solutions. Every year we run a number of workshops to help equip parents, caregivers and the general community with important life skills and information. Read more about our programme.
SASSA (The South African Security Agency) is tasked with administering social security services. Beautiful Gate is pleased that they have decided to open an approval office on our site. This will further assist our community members to access the support they can get from government.
In 2012, there were approximately 3.54 million orphans in South Africa. This includes children without a living biological mother, father or both parents, and is equivalent to 19% of all children in South Africa. Many children in South Africa do not live in the same dwelling as their biological parents. The proportion of children living with both parents decreased to 35% in 2012. Twenty-three percent do not have either of their biological parents living with them. Just over a quarter (26%) of all African children do not live with either parent. If you are interested in finding out more about statistics relating to children, you can read more here.
The names have been changed to protect the family. The image is a stock photo.
This article first appeared as part of our April 2015 newsletter. Read the full newsletter here.
Welcome to a window into the lives and issues facing children in the Crossroads community on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa. Most of these stories centre around the children and families we work with at Beautiful Gate South Africa, a Christian non-profit organisation whose mission is to show God's love as we care for and protect children, empower and preserve families and mobilise our community to do the same.