In April 2021, earlier this year, the SASSA social grants were increased by the National Treasury, as announced by Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni. The increase is a small percentage from the previous amounts and are as follows: Older persons (60-74yrs) and disability grants has increased by R30 to R1890; Persons over 75 and war veterans grants have increased by R30 to R1910; Foster Care grants have increased by R10 to R1050; Care dependency grants have increased by R30 to R1890 and Child support grants have increased by R10 to R460. Many people think these increases serves as an insult to the working class, more especially now in the times of COVID-19.
Bathabile Mahlangu is an unemployed mother of two who when asked how she felt about the recent grant increase said; “Honestly speaking, yes I am happy with the increase but it’s not enough, with everything increasing and the economy being low, it’s not enough.”
“As children grow up their needs become more and they require more money so this increase will do me and children no good. It’s not even enough to cover basic needs”, Mahlangu said.
Bathabile stated that “the R10 increase makes no difference in my family, more especially now in the times of COVID-19, as everything went up. At first I could buy a tin fish for R15 but now it cost me R25 for one so there’s no difference. I am grateful for the money we are receiving but I am unemployed, we totally depend on that money”.
A young mother who sells Avon for a living stated that “I only get income if I sell products and the grant increase is not enough as it doesn’t cover my child’s needs because everything is expensive now. It’s worse now since the grant is like the main source of income at home due to the high unemployment rate in these COVID-19 times”.
Amahle, another young mother stated that “the R460 grant does make a little difference. unlike having nothing but it’s not enough as it doesn’t cover creche fees and other needs”.
Many people in need of these grants feel the decision made on the small increment of the social grant by the government was not in the interests of the working class.
This article was submitted on 2 October 2021. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article (https://karibu.org.za/social-grant-increases-too-little-to-keep-up-with-covid-19-tough-times/).