Plan to build a social relief framework – Multi-Party Charter

Child Grant should be increased to the Food Poverty Line, extended to pregnant mothers

Multi-Party Charter presents its plan to build a social relief framework

24 April 2024

As voters prepare to elect a new government on the 29th of May, the signatory parties to the Multi-Party Charter have been providing the electorate with clear direction on what a Charter Government will do for South Africa. Through joint press conferences, leaders of Charter parties have shared their agreed approach and plan to tackle the biggest crises facing our country.

Today, the sixth such press conference detailed a Charter Government’s plan to build a social relief framework that not only protects the vulnerable, but secures the socioeconomic development needed to break the cycle of poverty, inequality and hunger, creating a more equitable and resilient society.

This plan was unveiled outside a SASSA office in Ekurhuleni, highlighting the plight of millions of South Africans who are subjected to a dysfunctional welfare system that is mired in corruption and ineptitude.

A Charter Government’s commitment to these and to all South Africans, includes:

1. Increasing the Child Grant to the Food Poverty Line.

2. Extending the Child Grant to cover pregnant mothers to support child nutrition goals.

3. Making it faster for people with disabilities to get medical assessments required for accessing disability grants by allowing private doctors to do the necessary medical checks.

4. Supporting an increase to the Old Age Grant, funded by reducing the overall number of people on social grants due to a growing economy that lifts people into jobs and opportunities.

5. Devising and implementing a plan to reduce teenage and unwanted pregnancies.

6. Enforcing maintenance payments to ensure fathers take responsibility for their children and to assist single mothers.

7. Identifying social welfare beneficiaries by means-testing to ensure that interventions reach those genuinely in need. (Means-testing includes indicators such as income status, geographic location, school quintile, net assets, number of dependents, and access to basic services.

8. Increasing the number of community-based primary health care and social workers to respond to the need for improved welfare services.

9. Ensuring that every community has access to places of safety.

10. Prioritising the fight against gangsterism and drug abuse and increasing the number of rehabilitation facilities for substance abuse.

11. Ensuring that the community has access to the support of social workers.

12. Helping users get off drugs through treatment and harm reduction services (while tackling serious drug-related crime through harsh consequences for dealing and trafficking).

13. Developing a national framework on homelessness and improving links with NGOs to ensure adequate support for people experiencing homelessness, including assistance to reintegrate them into their families/communities.

14. Increase police visibility in vulnerable communities with high incidences of violent crime.

15. Improving education, security, and healthcare to enhance social mobility and create equality of opportunity.

16. Broadening the range of zero-rated food items to tackle hunger and malnutrition effectively.

17. Ensuring that all qualifying households have access to the basket of free basic services.

18. Targeting vulnerable groups for protection during food price shocks.

19. Increasing support for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and non-profit organisations (NPOs) that deliver vital services on behalf of the State.

20. Allocating a higher number of social workers to densely populated areas based on needs assessments, aiming to increase the social worker-to-population ratio.

21. Revamping the social housing model to create more housing options near economic centres.

22. Promoting low-cost rental options by initiating a pilot rental voucher system.

23. Redistributing state-owned land, particularly in well-located urban areas, in order to provide housing for people experiencing poverty who would otherwise not be able to afford inner-city housing.

24. Fixing the title deed transfer regime.

25. Protecting and extending property rights of ownership to as many citizens as possible.

26. Ensuring that state land is justly and more productively utilised, focusing on residential and agricultural needs.

27. Increasing access to property ownership and affordable housing. The MPC will concentrate on repurposing underutilised state-owned land for housing.

28. Actively pursuing new, innovative housing models, building technologies, funding structures, and community participation initiatives to improve the quality, affordability, and flexibility of housing options in South Africa.

29. Providing service stands to poor households to ensure access to basic services such as shelter, water, sanitation, and energy.

30. Ensuring transparency in the awarding of housing development tenders through rigorous evaluation and approval stages.

While the individual parties within the Charter are campaigning on their own merit, with distinct policies, brands and offerings, voters can confidently cast their vote knowing that these commitments have been agreed to by all the signatory parties to the Multi-Party Charter. This level of unity and vision is unprecedented in South African politics and is exactly what our country needs.

Issued by Multi-Party Charter, 24 Aprill 2024