South Africa will spend more than R195 billion in the next year – paying 18 million grants a month

Social development minister Lindiwe Zulu says that her department has allocated R195.5 billion to the monthly payment of grants for the 2021/2022 financial year.

Presenting her departmental budget on Tuesday (25 May), Zulu said that the money will be used for the monthly payment of over 18 million social grants to beneficiaries.

Zulu said that this social assistance effort continues to be South Africa’s largest anti-poverty programme, and the R195 billion amount constitutes 95% of her department’s entire annual budget.

She said that the remaining 5% goes towards the implementation of all the Department’s programmes, including the allocations towards the administration of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the programmes of the National Development Agency (NDA).

Over and above the monthly grants, South Africa introduced a number of additional grants during the Covid-19 lockdown including:

  • The implementation of the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant for the unemployed;
  • Increasing all existing grants by R250 per month
  • Increasing the child support grant (CSG) by R300 per child;
  • Introducing the R500 caregiver grant

Combined, these interventions reached more than 31 million South Africans over the last year, said Zulu.

“Other than only representing more than half of South Africa’s population, this figure verifiably represents how the department has attended to the basic necessities of the most vulnerable among us,” she said.

“88% of the respondents to the Department’s study on the implementation and impact of the Covid-19 SRD grant indicated that they pooled their SRD grants together with the rest of their households’ incomes to take care of the needs of everyone in the households.”

Zulu said that the success of these grants, and the R350 SRD grant in partiucalr, will help inform discussions around government  planned introduction of a basic income grant.

Read: Government planning new basic income grant for South Africans aged 19 to 59

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South Africa will spend more than R195 billion in the next year – paying 18 million grants a month