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All about dependants

Who may qualify as your dependants on the Scheme? 

We understand that your family is important. That's why the following people may qualify as your dependants:

For most of the dependant categories outlined, an affidavit that proves factual dependency should be submitted with the application form (not older than three months.) An affidavit is a written declaration made under oath in front of someone legally authorised to administer an oath (for example, a Commissioner of oaths, or a police officer).   

How to register your dependantsTo register a dependant, you need:

Detailed list of requirements and documents needed to register a dependant

Husband or wife

Ex-husband or ex-wife


Children (biological, adopted, step or foster) under the age of 21

Children (biological, adopted, step or foster) over the age of 21

Parents, parents-in-law, grandparents and grandparents-in-law

Grandchildren and great-grandchildren

Siblings (brothers or sisters), half-siblings, step-siblings and siblings in-law

Nephews and nieces (including in-laws)

Special dependants (where the member is liable for family care and support)

Registering your newborn or newly-adopted child

You must send a completed newborn registration form and a certified copy of the birth certificate to the Scheme within 60 days from the birth of your child so that he/she can be registered as a dependant on the Scheme from the date of birth. You will also need to provide the final letter of adoption if your child is adopted. We will then also cover medical expenses related to the newborn's birth. If your newborn's surname is different from yours, you must provide the Scheme with an affidavit confirming that the child is yours. Contributions for your child will be due from the first day of the month after the month in which he/she was born or adopted if you register your child within 60 days from the birth date.

Yearly review of dependants

Every year, the Scheme reviews whether dependants still qualify to receive benefits according to the Scheme Rules. This means that each year, main members must give us proof of financial dependency for all dependants over the age of 21. Disabled dependants and dependants (parents, parents in-law, partners) who are over 65 years (pensioners) only need to give supporting documents to the Scheme once.

Eligibility review - Implementation of Rule 4.8.5

The implementation of Rule 4.8.5 allows for students studying short courses at any time during the year, to now be registered at the child rate. Previously you could only register your dependant for child rates if he/she studied as a full-time student. The implementation of Rule 4.8.5 means that there will now be eligibility reviews conducted throughout the year, triggered by students' study completion dates.

The new short course rule allows a Principal Member to pay a child rate for a dependant for the duration of his/her registration on a short course, which child rate will revert back to an adult rate after the completion date of the short course. For example, in the event of a student studying a three month diploma course at an educational institution, the Principal Member will be required to pay a child rate during the three month course period and will be required to pay an adult rate thereafter.

If no proof of continuation of studies is received, GEMS will only register the dependant at an adult rate if we receive the applicable financial dependency affidavit. Should neither document be received, the dependant's membership will be terminated.

Dependants registered as students

The table below gives more details about students qualifying to be dependants:

Student's age Rates to be paidReview period 
Under 21 years old You pay child rates  
21 years and older, but under 28 years

You pay child rates as long as you have handed in proof that the student is studying at a recognised educational institution.

You also need to provide an affidavit stating factual dependency (Not older than three months).

Note: If the dependant is not a student, but is factually dependent on the main member, they may continue as a dependant at adult contribution rates, if all relevant documents are submitted.

Documents must be provided before the end of March every year for full time students.

Students studying short courses must provide proof of study at the time they register.

In the event that you do not supply proof on time, the dependant will be converted to an adult rate. This means that you will be charged adult rates until you supply proof of studies or written notice to terminate the dependant's membership.

Please note that students studying overseas are not covered as they are considered to not be "ordinarily residing in SA". According to rule 6.2 "The membership of the Scheme is limited to those Members and their Dependants who are ordinarily resident within the Republic of South Africa, or who are stationed abroad on or by virtue of instructions, requirements or obligations of the Member's Employer". 

Why it is important to send your documents to us in time

We need to receive all the documents as requested on the eligibility review letters, so that your dependant can continue to receive benefits at child dependant rates. If documents for a newborn are provided late, the dependant will not be covered by the Scheme from the date of birth. This means you will have to pay the hospital costs of the newborn out of your own pocket.