All impoverished children born on or after October 1 1994 should apply for the government's child support grant, Social Development Minister Edna Molewa said in a statement yesterday.
"We believe many more children who qualify for this assistance have not applied, so we appeal to primary caregivers to ensure that such children are not left out," the statement said.
Until now children receiving the grant have automatically fallen off the system on reaching 15.
Molewa said they would now continue receiving the R240 grant monthly until they were 18. She said 1712 applications were received from teenagers aged 15 and 16 in the first two weeks of this year.
Children could be registered by their parents or guardians at any South African Social Security Agency office.
The 25483 teenagers who were already receiving the grant and who turned 15 in December would continue receiving the benefit until they were 18.
Molewa said the age extension signified the government's commitment to alleviate the plight of the impoverished majority of the country's people, especially children.
Cabinet approved the age extension in October last year. - Sapa