By Precious Mupenzi

  • In Francis Baard District Municipality, Kutlwanong Township faces severe economic hardship, with a significant rise in social relief applicants. SASSA recorded 162,913 active beneficiaries by March 2024, and 59,973 new SRD applicants in April, reflecting widespread need.
  • During Child Protection Week, Minister Lindiwe Zulu and Northern Cape MEC Nontobeko Vilakazi visited the Kganyego family. Since 2013, the maternal grandmother has been the foster parent after the child’s mother was murdered. The family receives support including food parcels, toiletries, and counselling.
  • Despite challenges, the foster child excels in football and academics. Scouted by Prestige Football Development Academy, he will attend football trials in Germany. Minister Zulu praised his resilience and the care provided by his grandmother, encouraging others to support their children similarly.

As part of the Child Protection Week campaign, the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, together with the Northern Cape MEC for Social Development, Ms Nontobeko Vilakazi, visited two families – the Bosman and Kganyego families.

In the heart of the Francis Baard District Municipality, Kutlwanong Township faces a dire situation. The district’s population stands at 387,741, with many residents struggling to make ends meet. By the end of March 2024, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) recorded 162,913 active beneficiaries, underscoring the widespread need for assistance.

In April 2024 alone, 59,973 new applicants were seeking social relief of distress( SRD), highlighting the escalating economic hardship. Among these new applicants, a significant number were women, with 30,427 female applicants reflecting the severe impact on families and vulnerable communities. The data paints a bleak picture of the growing dependency on social support in Kutlwanong Township.

The Kganyego family reached out to the Department of Social Development in 2013 for assistance with a foster care application after the child’s biological mother was murdered by her partner. During the visit, social worker Thembeka Shwababa explained that after intervention and assessment, the maternal grandmother was deemed a suitable foster parent.

“The family receives social relief in the form of food parcels and toiletries. Furthermore, they were provided with counselling services for the child and foster parent to ensure a smooth placement,” said Shwababa.

Despite the child’s efforts to reconnect with his father during his incarceration, the father’s subsequent release did not bring the promised support, reigniting feelings of anger in the child.

 “We will continue therapeutic services for the child to address his feelings towards his father and provide ongoing foster care supervision,” added Shwababa.

The child has shown remarkable resilience, channelling his focus into football. Scouted by Prestige Football Development Agency Academy in 2012, he is now a grade 12 learner at a school in Johannesburg. This year, he has been selected to attend football trials in Germany from June 17-23, 2024.

The minister praised Elizabeth Kganyego, the foster parent, for her exemplary care and encouraged other parents to look after their children, highlighting the foster child as a role model in his community.


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