ANC Admits Sassa Grants Are Not Enough



Millions of vulnerable people rely on social grants from the government to purchase food and other basic goods every month. While the value of social grants will increase in October 2023, many believe grants are simply not enough. 



The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) distributes more than 18 million social grants to vulnerable people living in South Africa every month. While the value of social grants has increased annually, members of the country’s governing party have conceded that the value of the grants is simply not enough. 

African National Congress (ANC) Treasurer General Gwen Ramokgopa says South Africa;’s social grant system has not fully addressed the persistent issues of unemployment and poverty. 

More than 18 million people rely on permanent grants from the government. Grants are distributed to pensioners, disabled individuals and caregivers of children. There is also the R350 grant which is distributed to more than 7 million unemployed citizens in South Africa

In its 2019 election manifesto, the ANC pledged to enhance access to social grants to bolster social security for the most vulnerable citizens living in the country. During the party's manifesto review in the Eastern Cape, Ramokgopa assured supporters that the ANC had made significant progress in tackling South Africa's socio-economic challenges. 

They acknowledged that while the grants were beneficial, they were not sufficient. They believe that the grants are effective in reducing hunger. 

How Much Is Sassa Grants 

  • Old age grant (beneficiaries younger than 75) - R2,080
  • Old age grant (beneficiaries 75 and older) - R2,100
  • War Veterans Grant - R2,100
  • Disability Grant - R2,100
  • Foster Child Grant - R1,120
  • Care Dependency Grant - R2,080
  • Child Support Grant - R500
  • Grant in Aid - R500

Impact Of Grants In South Africa

Sassa grants serve several purposes but are primarily aimed at providing financial assistance and social support to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and families in South Africa. 

Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) studies the average cost of a list of 44 basic food items purchased most frequently by lower-income households. This monthly report is called the Household Affordability Index.

The Household Food Basket is not nutritionally complete. It is a basket of food which women try and secure each month for their families given affordability constraints.

The average cost of a household food basket was R5,124 in August 2023. This is 7.3% more expensive than the cost of the basket twelve months ago in August 2023. This indicates that the increase in the price of food has outpaced the increase in the value of social grants. 

There are currently more than 12,78 million children receiving R500 from the government in the form of the Child Support grant

The PMBEJD estimates that in August 2023 the average cost to feed a child a basic nutritious diet per month is R900,03. This is the value of the Basic Nutritional Food Basket, a measurement of the cost of food for families to ensure their health and nutrition and for children to grow and develop properly. 

This means that the Child Support Grant is 44% below the average cost to secure a basic nutritious diet for a child. The Child Support Grant is also 34% below the food poverty line 

The PMBEJD estimates that stunting levels in boy children under 5 years are currently 30% while the stunting levels in girl children under 5 years are 25%. This indicates the inadequacy of the Child Support Grant. 

Grant increases in October 2023 

Sassa confirmed that several social grants will be increased in October 2023. These increases build upon the increases announced during the Budget Speech in February 2023. 

All social grants will increase in value by R10, except the Child Support Grant Top-Up and the R350 grant

Grant Payment Dates In October 2023 

Here are the scheduled grant payment dates for October 2023

  • Old Person Grant - Tuesday, 3 October 2023 
  • Disability Grant - Wednesday, 4 October 2023 
  • Children's Grant - Thursday, 5 October 2023 

Grant beneficiaries are set to receive an increase in grant payments. 


Suggested Article:

Sassa Gold Cards.

The technical glitch that prevented Sassa grant beneficiaries from receiving their September payments has since been resolved. The Minister of Social Development and Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies have issued a joint statement explaining what went wrong.




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