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Budget Speech Labelled Anti Poor Over Sassa Grant Allocations

Budget Speech Labelled Anti Poor Over Sassa Grant Allocations

During the annual budget speech, citizens and organizations hope their concerns will be addressed. In response to the latest budget speech, one organization has expressed dissatisfaction with budget allocations.

According to the Black Sash, the 2023 budget speech is anti-poor. Budget allocations for permanent and temporary grants were included in the speech delivered by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana. 

Budget Speech Labelled Anti Poor Over Sassa Grant Allocations

Inflation-related increases in all social grants were hoped for by the human rights organization. Instead, the Finance Minister announced an inflation-aligned increase for permanent grants administered by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). 

As of October 2023, the following permanent grant increases will be implemented:

  • R1,985 will be increased to R2,085 as part of the old age grant
  • There will be an increase of R2,005 in the Old Age Grant (above 75 years of age) and the War Veterans Grant (above 50 years of age)
  • There will be an increase in the Disability Grant from R1,990 to R2,085
  • Grants for care dependents will increase from R1,985 to R2,085.
  • R1,070 will be increased to R1,125 under the Foster Care Grant
  • There will be an increase of R480 to R505 in the Child Support Grant 

Unlike other temporary relief measures, the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, valued at R350, will not be increased. When the grant’s value did not increase, the Black sash expressed disappointment:

The Food Poverty Line currently stands at R663, so how can unemployed people receiving the SRD Grant survive on a monthly wage of R350? The amount is not even enough to buy a loaf of bread a day.”

Sassa grant Extend dates

According to recent extensions, the R350 grant will continue until 31 March 2024. Despite being welcomed by some, the Black Sash is not thrilled with the grant’s temporary nature. 

An unemployed person between the ages of 18 and 59 should be eligible for a permanent grant, according to the organization.  

In SONA, the President mentioned a targeted basic income grant, but the Minister of Finance did not discuss how and when such a grant would be implemented. Does this mean that the President made empty promises? ”Despite the Finance Minister’s comments, more needs to be done by the government, given the country’s unemployment crisis and ever-increasing costs of living.

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