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South Africa:Putting Families First – World International Day
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, June 09, 2014
Focus: Citizen Engagement, Internet Governance
Country: South Africa
Created: Jun 09, 2014

Minister Dlamini called on South Africans to work hard to re-establish the family unit in society, saying many social challenges in the country were the result of either weak family systems or non-existent families.

The department has tabled the White Paper on Families through which it puts forward proposals on how South African families should be supported in order to flourish and function optimally.

The White Paper defines the family as a societal group that is related by blood, adoption, foster care or the ties of marriage (civil, customary or religious), civil union or cohabitation, and go beyond a particular physical residence.

The paper views the family as a key development imperative and seeks to mainstream family issues into government-wide, policy-making initiatives in order to foster positive family well-being and overall socio-economic development in the country.

“The White Paper calls for families to play a central role in the national development pursuits of the country and the building of a better South Africa. For this ideal to be realised, family life and the strengthening of the family should be promoted in the country,” Minister Dlamini explained.

Social assistance programmes for families living in poverty have been the cornerstone of the South African government’s support to families. This includes social grants such as the Old Age Grant, as well as access to free education and primary health care for the poorest and the provision of free basic services to the indigent.

Over 16 million people currently receive social grants in South Africa, and of these, over 11 million are children; three million are senior citizens, who receive the Old Age Grant and approximately 600 receive the War Veterans Grant.

Government has also made it possible for older persons, who care for their grandchildren or children, to receive the Foster Care Grant.

During the next five years, the department will build on progress made in rolling out comprehensive social security to help families cope better with the challenges they face.
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