Finance Minister announces 9% boost in social grant spending

Old age grant to rise R90 to R1,600 a month

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Photo of protesters outside Parliament
Protesters outside Parliament demanded a pro-poor budget from Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

“Social grants provide much-needed assistance to the most vulnerable”, said Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan on Wednesday, announcing a 9% increase in spending on social grants in the 2017-18 budget.

Spending on social grants is budgeted to rise from about R138.7 billion in the 2016-17 budget to R151.6 billion in 2017-18. Most of the spending is to go on child support grants (R56.3 billion) and old age grants (R64.6 billion).

Gordhan said funding for social grants would rise at an average of 8.2% per year over the next few years.

Gordhan said the old age grant would increase by R90, to R1,600 a month, and to R1,620 for those older than 75. Disability and care dependency grants are to increase by R90, to R1,600. Foster care grants will increase by R30, to R920 a month, and child support grants will increase to R380.

According to the budget documents, the number of people receiving social grants is expected to top 18 million by 2020. About 12.8 million will be receiving child support grants and 3.6 million old age pensions.

Grant April 2016 October 2016 April 2017
Older persons 1,500 1,510 1,600
Older persons (75+) 1,520 1,530 1,620
Disability 1,500 1,510 1,600
War veterans 1,520 1,530 1,620
Grant-in-aid 350 350 Not
Child support 350 350 380
Foster care 890 890 920
Care dependency 1,500 1,510 1,600

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TOPICS:  Social Grants

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