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South Africa / Minister welcomes investment in social protection initiatives

By South Africa - Government Communications (GCIS

PRETORIA, South-Africa, February 23, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- Minister of Social Development, Ms Bathabile Dlamini, welcomes the financial injection that will be geared towards social protection measures over the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF), as announced in the Budget Speech.

These include the prioritisation of Early Childhood Development (ECD) as well as the Isibindi Model of childcare, through which we seek to recruit 10 000 Child and Youth Care Workers over a three-year period. It was announced that these initiatives were allocated an additional R1.4 billion over the MTEF.

ECD is an important foundation for our education system through which we can be able to mould children's cognitive and emotional skills, especially in their first 1000 days. A national conference on ECD will be held in March this year to look at ways of expanding ECD services.

Minister Dlamini also welcomes the extension of social grants, whose expenditure will grow from R105 billion in 2012/13 to R122 billion in 2014/15.

This extension shows government's commitment to protect the poor from poverty, especially vulnerable members of society such as children, older persons and people with disabilities. We call on all recipients of grants to use the grants responsibly and for the intended purpose.

On this note, the Department of Social Development welcomes the outcome of the North Gauteng High Court on the matter between Allpay and South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). Allpay sought to interdict SASSA from implementing the tender awarded to Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) and requested the court to review and set aside the decision toward the tender.

The parties have agreed in court that the matter cannot be heard on the

21st February 2012 and that, amongst others:

1. Part A of the application (interim relief for an interdict) be

Withdrawn

2. Part B of the application (Review Application) is set down for the

11th; 12th; and 13th April 2012;

In light of these developments, SASSA is not precluded from implementing its decision to award the tender to CPS. We therefore wish to reassure South Africans that there will be no disruption in the provision of social grants from 1 April 2012 when CPS takes over the payment of social grants in all provinces.