Sassa Grant Increases Aren't Enough

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Recently announced Sassa grant increases will no doubt come as a welcomed relief for million of vulnerable people who rely on these grants to survive. However, civil society groups warned that these increases don't speck to the needs of the majority of South Africans who are unemployed and hungry. 

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Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana recently announced the annual increases to social grants distributed by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). While beneficiaries will welcome the increases to the monetary value of Sassa permanent grants, civil society believes more should be done to assist the country’s vulnerable citizens.

The minister announced the Sassa grant increase during the 2024 National Budget Speech on Wednesday at the City Hall in Cape Town. Here are the Sassa Grant Increases:

  • An increase of R100 to the old age, war veterans, disability, and care dependency grants. This amount will be divided into R90 effective from April and R10 effective from October.
  • A R50 increase to the foster care grant.
  • A R20 increase to the child support grant.

In anticipation of the 2024 budget speech, human rights organization Black Sash was expecting an increase to all social grants aligned with the inflation rate, an inflation equivalent increase, or permanent SRD Grant for the unemployed aged 18-59, and an increase of the Child Support Grant’s monetary value to the Food Poverty Line (FPL) of R760.

Unfortunately, the Sassa grant increase announced by the minister fell short of the organisation's expectations.

Black Sash said the budget failed to address the challenges faced by the majority of South Africans who will continue to battle unemployment and hunger. They added that the 2024 budget also neglects the constitutional obligations to ensure that the rights in the Bill of Rights are upheld and resourced.

The budget failed to speak to the majority in South Africa who are unemployed and hungry

The SRD Grant’s Extension Fails To Address Hunger.

Godongwana confirmed that the monetary value of the SRD will not increase from the current R350 received by beneficiaries.

Black Sash revealed that the current amount received by beneficiaries is less than half of the FPL of R760. The food poverty line is an estimate of the minimum amount needed to feed an adult for one month.

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, every day for a month. It is crucial for the government to fulfil its constitutional obligation to provide support for those who cannot support themselves with Basic Income Support.

The minister did, however, say work was underway to improve the grant, echoing President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of Nation Address sentiments.

Black Sash points out that the draft regulations which were published for comment show no substantial amendments to increase and approve the grant. 

It rather imposes punitive measures by granting powers to the government to recover monies from beneficiaries if they are seen as persons who should not have benefitted and where a beneficiary does not collect their monies within 90 days, those monies will be forfeited to the State.

Minimum Increase In Child Support Grant

Black Sash also slammed the meagre increases in the Child Support Grant and Foster Care Grant, which they say shockingly overlook the harsh realities and hardships faced by caregivers for children.

According to Child Support Grant recipients, they rely on the grant to cover transportation and school fees, yet struggle to make ends meet, leaving them unable to adequately support their children.

While Black Sash welcomed the expansion of the school nutrition program, which guarantees a child a meal at school, the Child Support Grant, currently at R510, falls significantly short, being 33% below the food poverty line and 46% below the average cost of providing a basic nutritious diet for a child.

This disparity has raised concerns about child malnutrition and stunting, underscoring the constitutional obligation to prioritize children's rights.

Suggested Article:

finance minister enoch godongwana

On Wednesday afternoon, Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, took to the podium to deliver the 2024 Budget Speech. Godongwana revealed the Sassa grant increases for 2024.


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Millions of vulnerable rely on the SRD grant to purchase food and access basic services. Reconfirmation of their application may be required to ensure they continue receiving the grant. 

Sassa is responsible for disbursing grants to approximately 18 million South Africans every month. One of the grants distributed is Sassa child grants.


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