Government allocates extra R13 bilion for social grants

Government allocates extra R13 bilion for social grants

Treasury will allocate an additional R13 billion over the next three financial years in an attempt to cast the net of social protection for poor South Africans wider

Nhlanhla Nene
Gallo Images

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene made the announcement in  his medium-term budget policy statement (MTBPS) on Wednesday.

Currently 16.7 million South Africans receive social grants, but this would increase to 18.1 million. The increase is attributed largely to the increase in life expectancy among South Africans and government’s efforts to ensure that more children under the age of two are covered by social grants.

By the end of this financial year, government would have spent at least R154 billion on grants. This figure would increase to R168 billion in 2016/17, and R181 bln in 2017/18.

Another proposal in the MTBPS is that a further R6 billion be added to local government funding to help municipalities provide free basic services to the poor. “Rising electricity prices and population growth have put pressure on the ability of municipalities to fund free basic services for low-income households,” the MTBPS document said.

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