Joy as grans to get foster care grants

Kathryn Kimberley

TWINKLE Mjojeli, of Port Elizabeth, is set to benefit from a Gauteng court ruling which allows grandparents caring for grandchildren to apply for foster care grants.

The grant is nearly three times higher than the R290 monthly child support the elderly have had to struggle with to date.

And it should benefit tens of thousands of grandparents, like Mjojeli, and children.

According to human rights group Black Sash, while there are more than 1.6 million orphans in South Africa, only 500000 benefit from foster care grants.

The landmark ruling comes more than four years after a grandmother from Kagiso, near Krugersdorp, brought her plight to the courts.

The woman, who can be identified only as “Mrs M”, cares for three children and said her expenses exceeded her income.

Similarly, Mjojeli, who looks after her daughter’s two children and a niece, said she could not even afford to buy the kids jerseys for winter.

Mjojeli, 55, of Kwazakhele, earns R120 a day as a domestic worker. In addition, she receives R290 a month for each of the three children, aged four, five and15. She is unmarried.

She said the children’s unemployed birth parents did not contribute financially and it was usually a struggle to get the R290 grant each month.

But following last Friday’s ruling, Mjojeli can apply for a foster care grant of up to R800 a month per child.

Yesterday, she said this would enable her to satisfy the children’s basic needs such as food, clothing and schooling.

“It is wonderful news. I have had to live day by day never knowing whether or not I was going to come out [financially],” Mjojeli said. “This gives me hope.”

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