R30bn more for social grants, Social Relief of Distress to continue for another year
The Department of Social Development has been allocated just more than R1-trillion for social grants and welfare services, with social grants accounting for 88% of it. Of this, R36-billion is earmarked for the extension of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress grant until 31 March 2024.
Another R400-million has been allocated to the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) to administer the SRD grant. The government has not yet finalised options to provide further social protection to supplement it.
Sassa told Parliament this month that about 7.5 million people currently receive the SRD grant and another 13 million had applied in January this year. At least 60% of recipients are between the ages of 18 and 35 years, and at least 45% have a Grade 12 certificate.
All other social grants have been increased in line with inflation, adding up to R30-billion in increased expenditure. Almost 20 million South Africans will receive social grants by March 2026.
The old age and disability grant increases to R2,090, with an additional R90 on 1 April and a further R10 on 1 October.
The child support grant rises from R480 to R510 on 1 October 2023, while the foster care grant increases from R1,070 to R1,130 over the same period. BM/DM