Budget Speech Labelled 'Anti-Poor' Over Sassa Grant Allocations



The annual budget speech is always much anticipated, with citizens and organisations hoping to have their concerns addressed. The most recent budget speech has left one organisation unimpressed with the budget allocations. 



The Black Sash has labelled the 2023 budget speech as “anti poor”. The speech, delivered by Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, included budget allocations for permanent and temporary grants provided by the government. 

The human rights organisation hoped that all social grants would be increased in line with the inflation rate. 

However, this was not the case, as the Finance Minister only announced an inflation-aligned increase for permanent grants administered by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). 

The permanent grant increases, expected to take effect in October 2023, are as follows: 

  • Old Age grant will increase from R1,985 to R2,085
  • Old Age grant (above 75 years old) and War Veterans grant will increase from R2,005 to R2,105
  • Disability Grant will increase from R1,990 to R2,085
  • Care Dependency grant will increase form R1,985 to R2,085,
  • Foster Care grant will increase from R1,070 to R1,125
  • Child Support Grant will increase from from R480 to R505 

The Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, valued at R350 will not be seeing an increase, as government provides it as a temporary relief measure. Disappointed in the lack of increase in the grant’s value, the Black sash said:

“The Food Poverty Line is currently at R663, how then are unemployed people receiving the SRD Grant meant to live on a monthly R350. It is not even enough to buy a loaf of bread a day.”

The R350 grant is expected to remain in place until 31 March 2024, following its recent extension. While welcomed by some, the temporary nature of the grant is not something that the Black Sash is particularly happy with. 

The organisation has been calling for a permanent grant to be introduced for unemployed people between the ages of 18-59,  

“The President referred to a targeted basic income grant in SONA, but the Minister of Finance failed to speak on how and when mechanisms for this kind of support will be implemented. Does this mean that the President was making empty promises?”

While the Finance Minister touched on a number of issues in his speech, more is still expected from the government, as the country finds itself in the midst of an unemployment crisis and ever-increasing cost of living. 

Suggested Article:

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With the persistent rise in the cost of living for much of the country's population, those that rely on disbursements of Sassa social grants will be pleased to know there has been an increase in their monthly grant payouts.




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