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Sassa Grants ANC Acknowledges Shortcomings



Sassa Grants ANC Acknowledges Shortcomings

Sassa Grants ANC Acknowledges Shortcomings. Millions of Vulnerable South Africans Still Struggle Despite Grant Increases. In South Africa, a considerable portion of the population depends on government-issued social grants to meet their essential needs each month. Despite an upcoming increase in the value of these grants in October 2023, many argue that they remain insufficient.

South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) Grant Overview

Sassa disburses more than 18 million social grants monthly to vulnerable individuals in South Africa. While the value of these grants has seen incremental yearly increments, members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) now admit that these increases have not been enough to combat the persistent issues of unemployment and poverty.

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ANC Perspective on Social Grant System

Gwen Ramokgopa, ANC Treasurer General, asserts that South Africa’s social grant system has failed to fully address the ongoing challenges of unemployment and poverty. Despite benefiting more than 18 million people, including pensioners, disabled individuals, caregivers of children, and over 7 million unemployed citizens receiving the R350 grant, the ANC acknowledges the limitations of these grants.

ANC Election Manifesto and Progress

In its 2019 election manifesto, the ANC promised to expand access to social grants to enhance social security for vulnerable citizens. During a recent manifesto review in the Eastern Cape, Ramokgopa assured supporters that the party had made substantial progress in addressing South Africa’s socio-economic challenges. However, they concur that while these grants have been effective in reducing hunger, they remain insufficient.

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Breakdown of Sassa Grant Amounts (As of 2023)

  • 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 multiple purposes, primarily aimed at providing financial assistance and social support to disadvantaged individuals and families in South Africa. However, the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice & Dignity Group (PMBEJD) highlights a growing concern regarding the affordability of basic necessities.

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Household Affordability Index and Food Basket Costs

PMBEJD regularly monitors the cost of a list of 44 essential food items commonly purchased by lower-income households through its Household Affordability Index. The average cost of a household food basket reached R5,124 in August 2023, reflecting a 7.3% increase compared to the previous year. This surge in food prices has outpaced the growth in the value of social grants.

Challenges for Child Support Grant Recipients

With over 12.78 million children receiving the Child Support grant of R500 per month, PMBEJD estimates that, as of August 2023, the average monthly cost of providing a basic nutritious diet for a child is R900.03. This indicates that the Child Support Grant falls short by 44% of covering the costs necessary to ensure children’s health and nutrition.

Moreover, the grant is 34% below the food poverty line, signifying its inadequacy in addressing the nutritional needs of South Africa’s children.

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Stunted Growth in Children

PMBEJD reports that stunting levels among boys under 5 years old currently stand at 30%, while girls under 5 years old face a 25% stunting rate. These figures underscore the insufficiency of the Child Support Grant in promoting proper growth and development in children.

Anticipated Grant Increases in October 2023

Sassa has confirmed that it will raise the value of several social grants in October 2023, building on the earlier increases announced during the February 2023 Budget Speech.

  • All social grants will see a value increase of R10, except for the Child Support Grant Top-Up and the R350 grant.
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Grant Payment Dates for 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 Grant – Thursday, 5 October 2023

Beneficiaries can look forward to these increased grant payments, although concerns about their adequacy persist.

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