Orphan waiting in vain

A FAMILY in Seshego has accused the SA Social Security Agency of failing to approve a government grant for an orphaned child.

A FAMILY in Seshego has accused the SA Social Security Agency of failing to approve a government grant for an orphaned child.

While the five-year-old orphaned girl should be in class, her guardian, Mahlodi Dimakatso Seabela, pleads her case at the department of health's Sassa offices en route to school every day.

Mahlodi applied for a foster mother grant after the death of Mokgadi Sekgobela's mother in 2004, but five-and-a-half-years later she is still waiting, rendering her a beggar in her own neighbourhood.

Seabela applied for the grant on May 17 2004, a few days after the funeral of the girl's mother.

"The officials told me to go to the paypoint the following month but when I went there I was told the girl's name was not listed among the recipients," she said yesterday. "I got back to the Sassa offices and they made me reapply, saying the officials who helped me during the first application had made mistakes."

Seabela said she had reapplied for the grant at least seven times.

"I have six children plus the orphan and I am not working. Because of my family's background, I am unable to fend for the children. I have even lent some of my children to neighbours to help them with odd jobs so that they can take them to school and feed them."

"All I want is the department to release the orphaned girl's money so that she has something to eat every day," she said.

Attempts to get comment from the agency drew a blank yesterday.

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