Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Cape Town: Social grants will from April increase by below inflation rates of between 1.0 and 3.4 percent, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has announced.

Coupled by this will be the ending of the social relief of distress grant in the same month, seeing expenditure on grants decreasing by 2.2 percent over the next three years.

“Total social grants are reduced by R5.8 billion in 2021/22, R10.7 billion in 2022/23 and R19.5 billion in 2023/24. All grant values will increase by less than inflation. The number of beneficiaries is expected to increase by about 300 000 people over the period,” reads the 2021 Budget Review report.

The number of social grant beneficiaries is anticipated to reach 9 million by 2022/23.

In 2021/22 next financial year, the seven social grant categories will increase by between 4 and 4.7 percent. In this regard, old age and disability grants will increase to R1 890 from R1 860 (1.6 percent). Both persons over the age of 75 and war veterans will both now receive R1 910 from the current R1 880 (1.6 percent). While foster care will increase from R1 040 to R1 050 (1.0 percent), care dependency rises from R1 860 to R1 890. In this category, child support sees the biggest increase, rising to R460 from the current R445 (3.4 percent).

Over the MTEF period, the budgets for provincial departments of social development include R2.3 billion in allocations earmarked for specific purposes.

The Treasury in the Budget Review said this includes R1.2 billion to continue to employ social workers and R603.3 million for programmes to mitigate the social effects of HIV, gender-based violence and substance abuse.

“Provinces will also receive R3.5 billion from the Department of Social Development through the early childhood development grant to improve access to quality early childhood development services,” reads the report.

In addition, R678.3 million is earmarked for provincial departments of social development and basic education to continue rolling out free sanitary products for learners from low-income households.

Women, youth and persons with disabilities

Over the medium term, the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities is allocated R15 million to establish and operationalise a national council for gender-based violence and femicide.

National Treasury said the council will provide strategic leadership and guidance on planned interventions. The National Youth Development Agency will receive R1.4 billion for its operations and youth employment support programmes.