Govt sets aside M28 million grants for the elderly
THE government has set aside M28 million to provide relief grants to 34 500 elderly people to cushion them against the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Social Development minister ‘Matebatso Doti this week told parliament that the beneficiaries would each get M831 cash monthly for three months.
The funds will be disbursed to people who are aged 60 to 69n years and are registered with the National Identity and Civil Registration (NICR) department. The national identity card is the only acceptable form of identification. Those who are 70 and above are not eligible because they are already receiving old-age pensions from the government.
“The government has awarded the Ministry of Social Development money to disburse to 34 500 elderly vulnerable people who are aged 60 to 69 years,” Ms Doti said.
“The purpose is to cushion them from the impact of Covid-19. Each beneficiary will get M831 for three months. We appeal to families of the elderly to start applying for identification cards and also appeal to the Ministry of Home Affairs to process them with haste.
“Applicants should strictly have their national identity cards and not letters from their area chiefs. Passports and electoral cards will both not be accepted. People with no alternative source of income are eligible for the grants. Elderly people who are recipients of grants from the Ministry of Social Development, the World Food Programme (WFP) or any other development partner are not eligible for the grants.
“Recipients of government pensions are also not eligible for the grants.”
Ms Doti said beneficiaries will be drawn from the National Information System for Social Assistance (NISSA) and other families that have become vulnerable as a result of famine and the effects Covid-19.
“This will be a country-wide relief. Disbursement will commence as soon as preparations are complete and lists of beneficiaries are ready,” Ms Doti said.