SOCIAL SECTOR – QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Based on the Statement by the Minister of Social Development Ms Lindiwe Zulu

17 March 2020

 

What measures are in place to protect the most vulnerable groups, including children, youth, women, older persons and persons with disabilities?

All Social Development, NDA offices and SASSA pay points remain operational during this period.

All facilities are adhering to Occupation Health and Safety guidelines and to ensure that basic protective measures against the virus.

 

Are resources available to assist poor households affected by the spread of COVID-19?

In line with President Ramaphosa’s declaration, the Disaster Relief Fund has been activated to provide immediate assistance to affected individuals and families. An amount of R96 million is available from the Fund.

 

How will this affect the payment of social grants?

The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) is exploring various options to ensure that pay points, including the South African Post Office (SAPO), implement precautionary measures. This will assist in minimizing and mitigating the spread of the virus as these facilities become overcrowded during pay days.

One of the proposals SASSA is currently considering is the staggering of payment dates to avoid gathering of large numbers of people at South African Post Offices. This is in line with the disaster management plan regulations.

 

What support is in place for affected families and individuals?

All social service professionals will provide psychosocial care and support services to affected individual and their families.

This includes trauma counselling, integration and re-unification of persons who have been isolated/quarantined to mitigate stigmatisation.

 

How are Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) affected?

ECD centres will close on 18 March 2020. Parents/caregivers are advised to make alternative care arrangements during this period.

 

How are other Social Centres/facilities affected?

There is a suspension, until further notice, of all external visits to Child and Youth Care Centres, drug rehabilitation and treatment centres, shelters and old age centres

 

What is the role of the Non-Profit sector in preventing spread of COVID-19?

These are critical stakeholders in the provision of social services. They must continue playing their part by disseminating correct information to members of the public.