ANC wants age limit for child social grant recipients increased to 21
The ANC wants government to extend the age limit for child social grant recipients from 18 to 21.
This decision was taken by the party’s social transformation committee at its national policy conference in Nasrec‚ south of Johannesburg.
This recommendation would be tabled at the party’s December national conference where it is expected to be adopted as party policy.
Should this happen‚ more recipients will be added to the existing 17 million grant recipients’ register‚ putting strain on the country’s budget.
Speaking to reporters‚ Human Settlements minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the limit extension would only apply to those children who remained in school.
“We did not consider the financial consequences of increasing grants… We will then sit down and work out whether it is affordable or not‚” she said.
Sisulu conceded that often social transformation proposals were met with resistance from the National Treasury because of its added cost borne to the state.
Addressing the media alongside Sisulu‚ deputy minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela said while the ANC did not want more people on social grants‚ it had to respond to the dire poverty of the population.
“It is not the desire of the ANC to keep people as long as possible on the social grant system. It is also not the desire of the ANC to see people die of hunger‚” he said.
Manamela announced that the ANC agreed that sanitary towels should be free for females at schools.
He however warned that the argument that condoms were free therefore sanitary towels should be free was an unfair comparison.
“We must not see condoms as for men but it is for all sexually active people‚” Manamela said.
The conference did not agree to the decriminalisation of sex workers as proposed by delegates from Gauteng.
Sisulu said the matter was defeated in the conference plenary.
“Plenary not happy with decriminalising of sex workers… (Because) it was sprung on us in conference‚” she said.
Sisulu said it was not agreed on because ANC branches did not sufficiently debate the issue.
“Gauteng feels we are unduly harsh on people trying to make a living… men must be criminalised for what they do‚” she said.
The Commission for Gender Equality has long called for the decriminalisation of sex work while HIV activists have argued that this would reduce HIV infections.
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