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Budget Speech 2017: Social assistance grants see increases

By Jessica Anne Wood

Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan announced during the Budget Speech on Wednesday that social assistance grants will be increased from April in order to compensate for consumer price inflation.

The Minister highlighted:

  • The old age grant will increase by R90 to R1600 for pensioners over the age of 60, and will increase to R1620 for those over 75.
  • The disability and care dependency grants will increase by R90 to R1600 a month.
  • Foster care grants will increase by R30 to R920 a month.
  • The child support grant increases by R20 to R380.

Last year, Moneybags (our sister website) found that the child support grant was not enough to cover the minimum nutritional requirements for children between the ages of three and nine. With only a R20 increase for the 2017/2018, and the cost of living continuing to rise, it’s still not enough to meet these minimum nutritional requirements.

For more information on when social grants are applicable and how to apply for a grant, click here.

Social protection expenditure

Social protection expenditure for the 2017/2018 financial year will total R180 billion, with R64.5 billion going towards old age grants, R56.3 billion towards child support grants, and R21.2 billion going towards disability grants.

The social protection expenditure for 2017/2018 breaks down as follows:

The Minister highlighted in the budget review: “Government aims to provide a social safety net for all South Africans, particularly the young, elderly and disabled, and to standardise social welfare practices as highlighted in the NDP. Spending on this priority is set to rise from R164.9 billion in 2016/17 to R209.1 billion by 2019/20, growing at an annual average of 8.2 per cent over the medium term.”

The Minister further explained: “The number of social grant beneficiaries is expected to reach 18.1 million by the end of 2019/20. The child support grant will reach an estimated 12.8 million beneficiaries and the state old age grant 3.6 million beneficiaries. Due to increases in beneficiary numbers and inflationary adjustments to grant amounts, expenditure on grants is expected to increase at an average annual rate of 8.2 per cent over the medium term, reaching R175.6 billion in 2019/20. Grant amounts are adjusted according to inflation projections to maintain their real value.”

Further reading:

Include other budget speech articles

How to make the most of the budget speech

Budget Speech: The fuel levy

The 2017 tax changes that will affect you

Why the 45% increase in personal income tax is good news

The 2017 Budget in 10 points

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