Who qualifies for free municipal water?

The short answer You need to register as indigent to receive free municipal services. The whole question Dear Athalie I read in one of your articles that indigent people are allowed 6,000 litres of water. How does that work and how can I apply? I live in eThekwini Municipality. The long answer The Free Basic Water (FBW) policy of 6,000 litres a month was established...

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Here’s how South Africa’s social grant system has changed since 1994

SASSA pays 26-million grants every month By Daniel Steyn The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) spent R232-billion on social grants in 2022 - about 11% of the national budget. Social grant spending, when adjusted for inflation, has quadrupled since 1994. The vast majority of beneficiaries receive either the Child Support Grant or Old Age Grant. Grant amounts are about the...

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How can I stop unauthorised deductions from my SASSA grant?

The short answer You can submit a dispute of the deduction to SASSA The whole question Dear Grethen There is a life insurance company that has been deducting money from my SASSA child grant, but I never consented to this. How can I stop this? Can I get my money back? The long answer This is an unfortunate and long-standing problem. GroundUp wrote about this issue...

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This is what we can do to end the reading crisis

As the November 2023 deadline looms, 70% of public schools still don’t have libraries By Tatiana Kazim On 30 August, the Right to Read campaign was launched at the Women’s Jail in Johannesburg. The campaign brings together several organisations, including the Legal Resources Centre, the Centre for Child Law, SECTION27, Equal Education (EE), and Equal Education Law Centre (EELC) to mobilise civil...

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There’s a way to sort out lighting in informal settlements

Solar powered public lights are better than high-mast lights, collaborative Cape Town project suggests By Noah Schermbrucker Solar-powered lights fixed onto the outside of shacks in informal settlements may be a better option than high-mast lights, a project in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, has shown. As part of their PhD project, Yael Borofsky and Stephanie Briers from ETH Zurich university in Switzerland collaborated with...

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Everything you need to know about social grants

For people who receive a grant or need to receive one. By Gabrielle Kelly and GroundUp Staff This is an overview of South Africa’s social grant system and how to apply for social assistance. GroundUp updates this article regularly. This page was originally published on 6 March 2013. It is currently being updated (7 March 2023). (Please note that GroundUp is not affiliated with the Government...

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Covid grant should be increased to at least R413, say civil society groups

A new means test and bank verification process has resulted in far fewer people getting the grant By Liezl Human The R350 Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant should be increased to R413 in line with inflation, say the Institute for Economic Justice and the the Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa. The organisations noted with concern that the only aspect...

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How can I get an interview for a birth certificate at Home Affairs?

The short answer You can phone their hotline but you will probably have better luck if you get help from a non-government organisation. The whole question Dear Athalie I have been trying to get a birth certificate for my 5-year-old son since 2019 but Home Affairs still hasn't granted me an interview. Every time I go to the office to ask if there...

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It will be “catastrophic” if municipality loses R493-million grant, Amathole activists say

The municipality may have to forfeit the conditional grant due to underspending By Daniel Steyn The Amathole District Municipality (ADM) risks losing a R493-million conditional grant because it has failed to spend the first R100-million portion. The Municipal Infrastructure Grant was allocated to the municipality in July by the National Treasury. A large section of the Wild Coast runs through the district, including...

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Shack dwellers say they cannot afford solar power company’s monthly fees

Empowerment project stumbles in Khayelitsha, showing the complexity of providing solutions to informal settlements By Nombulelo Damba-Hendrik Qandu Qandu informal settlement residents in Khayelitsha say they have feel duped by a project that pairs a solar energy company with the Umbane project led by professors at UCT and Exeter University. The participants say they cannot afford the monthly usage fees for...

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