The Department of Social Development (DoSD) as a national structure to addressHIV/AIDS

The Department of Social Development (DoSD) as a national structure to addressHIV/AIDS

HIV and AIDS could be addressed through broad social protection systems

This brief note outlines how the South African Department for Social Development (DoSD) plan to address HIV and AIDS. The note outlines how the DoSD has committed to providing a range of services to support people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) and those affected through social grants, including: pensions, grants for adults with disabilities, care dependency grants, foster child grants and support grants. Moreover, the DoSD intends to improve the social security system, and is considering a comprehensive and affordable system of social protection, such as the Basic Income Grant (BIG).

The purpose of BIG is to: combat poverty; provide everyone with a minimum level of income; enable the poorest households to meet their basic needs; stimulate economic development; promote stability; and affirm and support dignity. However, the existing system has a number of limitations that must be considered, which prevent the grants from reaching their intended recipients. It is fragmented and non-comprehensive, which results in vulnerable groups, such as street children, falling between the cracks. Grants are not enough to cover costs and are limited to cash transfers, which excludes access to healthcare and education. Finally, the system in its present state is not set up to deal with the many informal arrangements of care (such as extended family members caring for orphaned children). [adapted from author]