If you wanted more news on social grants, you’ve come to the right place. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni delivered Budget Speech 2021 on Wednesday 24 February and in doing so, touched on the future of the grants that so many South Africans desperately depend on. While they needed the grant before the pandemic, that struggle has increased even more so after a second wave.
First on Mboweni’s agenda regarding social development was that provinces will receive R3.5 billion from the Department of Social Development (DSD) to improve access to early childhood development services. R6.3 billion has been allocated to extend the R350 SRD grant until the end of April 2021.
“In addition, R678.3 million has been earmarked for provincial departments of social development and basic education to continue rolling out free sanitary products for learners from low-income households,” said Mboweni.
Regular social grants have been adjusted as follows:
It may not be the increase we want to see regarding social grants but it’s an increase that we’ll most definitely take as opposed to nothing.
DA Shadow Minister of Finance Geordin Hill- Lewis said Mboweni cut allocations to social grants for the first time.
“Grant recipients will receive increases of around 1%, far below low-income inflation of around 4%. The foster care grant, the child support grant, and the disability grant, all see allocations cut. In this year alone, social grants are cut by R5.8 billion,” said Hill-Lewis.
“This shows the extent to which interest on debt is eating into other critical expenditure. This is an indefensible choice to make. As the DA did in our Alternative Budget, the government should have protected social spending and prioritised other cuts.”
Apart from the regular social grants, President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2021, said the R350 SRD grant, in particular, would be extended by a further three months.
“Over the last few months, we have had ongoing discussions with our social partners in business and labour, who proposed an extension of some of the social and economic support.”
“We have therefore decided to extend the period for the Special COVID-19 Grant of R350 by a further three months. This has proven to be an effective and efficient short-term measure to reduce the immediate impact on the livelihoods of poor South Africans.”President Cyril Ramaphosa