18 February 2011
Pilot projects to encourage self-reliance among social grant beneficiaries have been set up in some provinces, President Jacob Zuma said in his reply to the State of the Nation debate.
Addressing Parlliament in Cape Town on Thursday, Zuma acknowledged that while social grants were important for the alleviation of poverty, they were by no means a substitute for rural development and employment creation.
He said that by September 2010, 16 976 people in the Northern Cape, 3 024 people in Gauteng province, as well as 450 women and 182 young people in the Eastern Cape, had been linked to income-generating opportunities.
In Bokfontein in North West province, 600 social grant beneficiaries had been linked to a local community works scheme, while in Dutyini village in the Eastern Cape, 39 women and one man had been linked to a number of projects such as candle making.
“Lessons from these pilot projects will enable better roll-out of these programmes around the country,” Zuma said.
Another key poverty alleviation mechanism, directed at children, was the subsidy, ranging between R12 and R15 per child per day, for qualifying children from poor households attending Early Childhood Development centres.
“To date, more than 400 000 children receive the subsidy in 16 250 centres registered with the Department of Social Development,” he said, adding that the plan for 2011 was to increase the subsidised centres to 17 000.
Close to 15-million South Africans, 10-million of whom are children, receive state social grants.