Social grants to increase, Social Relief of Distress Grant to stay until 2024

Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana has announced that social grants will increase by at least 5% in the next financial year.

“R66 billion is allocated to Social Development over the medium term, with R36 billion to fund the extension of the COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress [SRD] grant until 31 March 2024. R30 billion will be used for inflation-linked increases for other social grants,” Godongwana said.

The Minister presented the 2023 National Budget in Cape Town on Wednesday,

The increases to social grants are as follows:

  • The old age grant will go up from R1985 to R2085
  • The old age grants for those over the age of 75 will increase to R2105
  • Grants for war veterans increase to some R2105 from R2005
  • Disability grants go up to R2085
  • The Foster care grant increases by 5.1% to R1125
  • Care dependency grants rise to R2085 from R1985
  • Child support grants go up by 5.2% to R505
  • Grant-in-aid rises to R505 – up by 5.2%

National Treasury budget documents said although the SRD grant will continue, government is considering options to provide alternative social protection to those receiving it.

“In 2023/24…R400 million is allocated to the South African Social Security Agency to administer it. Government is still considering alternative options to provide appropriate social protection for the working-age population that can replace or complement the current grant.

“Funds spent on the grant are lower than projected in 2022/23 due to improved means testing,” the department said.

Medium term
Treasury explained that in the medium term, social development is expected to receive some R1.1 trillion over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) for “social grants and welfare services, and to strengthen advocacy for the empowerment of women, youth and people living with disabilities”.

The child care and old age grants continue to receive the largest proportion of government’s spending with the state anticipating growth in beneficiaries over the next three years.

“The child support grant and old age grant together account for about 70% of total grant expenditure over the MTEF period. These two grants will be provided to a total of 17.5 million beneficiaries in 2023/24. Social grants will increase in line with inflation over the medium term.

“Expenditure on social grants will increase from R233 billion in 2022/23 to R248.4 billion in 2025/26 due to increases in the number of recipients and the value of the grants.

“Excluding the COVID-19 social relief of distress grant, social grant coverage is expected to increase from about 18.6 million beneficiaries in March 2023 to 19.6 million beneficiaries by March 2026,” the department said.

– SAnews