The plight of undocumented AIDS orphans

The plight of undocumented AIDS orphansThe government'€™s policy of not awarding foster care grants to undocumented orphans has come under the spotlight as the number of AIDS orphans continues to increase.

The government’€™s policy of not awarding foster care grants to undocumented orphans has come under the spotlight as the number of AIDS orphans continues to increase.

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The audio is in isiZulu. See the English summary below.

MABUTHO: Ukubhebhetheka kwegciwane le HIV kuleli laseNingizimu Africa kuye kwaholela ekukhuleni kwesibalo sezingane eziyizintandane, njengoba ngokwezibalo ze Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) belinganiselwa ku 1 million kuya ngaphezulu abantwana abayizintandane ngenxa yegciwane le HIV. Ngokomithetho kahulumeni ephathelene nezenhlalakahle kanye nabantwana, iSocial Assistance Act ka 1992 kanye ne Child Care Act ka 1983 kumele kube nosizo lwemali evela kuhulumeni ukulekelela ekukhulisweni kwabantwana abangenabazali. Lemali esiza abantwana abayizintandane iFoster Care Grant nokuyimali eba ngamarandi alinganiselwa emakhulwini ayisishagalombili ngenyanga. Kepha labo abakhulisa izingane ezingenazo izitifiketi zokuzalwa ezibonisa ukuthi ngezase South Africa kabakwazi ukuthi bayithole lemali.   UVidla Dlamini osebenza esikhungweni esibhekele inhlalakahle yezingane eziyizintandane,   iningi lazo ezilalahlekelwa ngabazali ngenxa yegciwane le HIV, iNgwavuma Orphan Care, eNgwavuma budebuduze nomngcele weSwazini kanye ne Mozambique uthi; ukungabibikho kwezitifiketi zabantwana zokuzalwa kwenza umsebenzi wabo wokubatholela ama Foster Care Grants ube nzima.

 

VIDLA DLAMINI: Akulula ukusiza ingane uma ingenaso isitifiketi esibonisa ukuthi izalwa eSouth Africa. Kufanele ukuba ibe nesitifiketi ukuze ibhalisele igrant kwa Welfare. So, thina asikwazi ukuyisiza ngokuyitholela igrant uma ingenaso isitifiketi. Mhlawumbe esingakwenza ukuthi siyilekele ngezinsiza ezithile njengokuthi siyixhumanise nabanye abaxhasi (Funders).

 

MABUTHO: UElizabeth Rapulang weSizanani Home-based Care, eMzimhlophe, eSoweto okuyisikhungo naso esigada izintandane ezingu 300, nakhona iningi lazo abazali bazo abashona ngenxa yezifo ezihlobo negciwane le HIV, naye ukhala esifanayo. Uthi noma ngabe umntwana unaso isitifiketi sokuzalwa kodwa kuthatha isikhathi eside ukuthola iFoster Care Grant.

 

ELIZABETH RAPULANG: It take years. Umntwana uyahlala for three years ekwi waiting list ukuthi afosterishwe. Nama numbers wethu njengama NGOs awehli ngoba ama Foster (Care) Grants awaqhamuki. Asikwazi ukuthi si fosterishe ngaphandle kwalemali esiyithola laphaya kuhulumeni.  

 

MABUTHO: UNick De Villiers ongummeli ovela esikhungweni   iLegal Resources Centre, eJohannesburg, uthi ukungabibikho kwesitifiketi somntwana sokuzalwa akusho ukuthi kumele angalutholi uxhaso lwezimali kuhulumeni. Uthi kukhona iSocial Relief, okuwusizo oluphuthumayo lwemali kumbe lokudla olunikezelwa lowo ontulayo.

 

NICK DE VILLIERS: The Director-General of Social Development has said in an affidavit in court that there is no problem around this (issue) because those people (who can’€™t access Foster Care Grants) should be able to access social relief. Social relief is available to people without birth certificates and ID documents.

 

MABUTHO: Ziningi izimbangela ezingadala umntwana angabi naso isitifiketi sokuzalwa. ezingaba nomthelela. Kwesinye isikhathi kuba ukuthi abazali bashona bengakamlungiseleli isitifiketi sakhe sokuzalwa. Kanti kulezozindawo ezingasemingceleni yezwe njengaseNgwavuma kuyatholakala ukuthi ngezinye izikhathi inkinga idalwa ukuthi abazali babengabona abokudabuka eSouth Africa.  

 

VIDLA DLAMINI: Ekusebenzeni kwethu la emphakathini siyathola ukuthi lezingane esiba nenkinga yokuthi sizitholele amadocuments afana nezitifiketi zokuzalwa kanye nama ID abazali, uma kulandeleleka uyathola ukuthi abazali balezingane ngempela-ngempela kwakungebona abalapha eSouth Africa. Bebeqhamuka eSwaziland noma bebeqhamuka eMozambique.

 

MABUTHO: Ngokombiko we Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) zingaphezulu kuka 1 million izingane eziyizintandane ngenxa yegciwane le HIV kuleli laseNingizimu Africa. Lezibalo kulindeleke ukuba zikhule ngokuhamba kwesikhathi uma kungekho okwenziwayo ukunqanda isimo, njengoba bebalelwa ngaphezulu kuka 5 million abantu abaphila negciwane kuleli. Ukwanda kwesibalo sezintandane kuzofaka ingcindezi emnyangweni wezenhlalakahle njengoba sizokwanda isibalo sabantwana abayizintandane abadinga usizo lwama grants kahulumeni.

The English summary.

The plight of undocumented AIDS orphans  

 

The government’€™s policy of not awarding foster care grants to undocumented orphans has come under the spotlight as the number of AIDS orphans continues to increase.

 

According to studies by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), there are more than one million HIV orphans in the country. This has resulted in the increase of foster care grant applications in recent years. However, not all applicants are able to receive grants  as the government’€™s policy stipulates that only children with identification documents such as birth certificates are entitled to foster care grants.

 

However, Vidla Dlamini, co-ordinator of Ngwavuma Orphan Care  in KwaZulu-Natal ‘€“ an area that has seen a slight increase of orphans in recent years due to the high AIDS pandemic – says the criteria used by the government makes the lives of hundreds of orphans difficult.

 

‘€œIt is not easy to help an orphan child with no certificate to prove that a child is indeed a South African, because it is a must when applying for a foster care grant at the Department of Social Welfare and Development.   In fact, we are unable to help a child with no birth certificate,’€ Dlamini said.

 

Elizabeth Rapulang of the Sizanani Home-based Care Centre in Mzimhlophe, Soweto, which looks after 300 children – many of whom are AIDS orphans ‘€“ concurs with Dlamini. She adds, however, that even children with the required documents struggle to get foster care grants, as it often takes long for the grant to be approved.  

 

‘€œIt takes years. A child can stay for three years on the foster grant waiting list. That is why the numbers of children that we assist are not decreasing because they are not receiving foster care grants,’€ said Rapulang.

 

However, Nick De Villiers, a lawyer from the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg, says orphaned children with no birth certificates or other identification documents should not be precluded from accessing the social security system.  He says undocumented children are entitled to what is called ‘€œsocial relief’€ a special program by the Social Welfare and Development Department aimed at giving special assistance to the needy.

 

‘€œThe Director-General of Social Development has said in an affidavit in court that there is no problem around this (issue) because those people (who can’€™t access foster care grants) should be able to access social relief. Social relief is available to people without birth certificates and ID documents,’€ said De Villiers.

 

There are several reasons that can cause an orphaned child not to have a birth certificate. In some instances, it could be that parents died before they applied for one. In areas near borders with other countries, such as Ngwavuma, in Kwazulu-Natal, the reason could be that the parents were not originally from South Africa.

 

‘€œWe have discovered that some of the children that we are having a problem of getting their birth certificate is because their parents were not originally from South Africa. In most cases, you find out that their parents were originally from Swaziland or Mozambique,’€ Dlamini said.

 

If the report by Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), that the country has more than one million AIDS orphans, is anything to go by, then the country is under siege.  The increasing number of so-called AIDS orphans is bound to put more pressure on the Social Welfare and Development Department, as children who need foster care grants will grow in numbers.