Social grants get a boost to alleviate poverty

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants have been increased. | Nokuthula Mbatha Independent Newspapers

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants have been increased. | Nokuthula Mbatha Independent Newspapers

Published Feb 21, 2024


The Molapo family is one of millions in South Africa grappling with poverty. The family matriarch expressed gratitude for the recent increase in social grants announced by Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana.

The Molapos only receive child support and old-age pension grant and has to deal with the difficult challenge of stretching their limited income to satisfy basic needs in the face of growing costs and inflation.

According to the grandmother, Mary Molapo, the money they get is barely enough to keep the family needs as they use R1500 for food, R500 for toiletries, R300 for utilities and R1000 for clothes, uniforms and stationery.

“As a family, we are determined to make the most of what we have and to create a better life for ourselves.

“The family is also calling for more support for similar households, such as access to free feminine hygiene products.

“We have been calling on the government to raise the value of the grants so that we can afford to buy enough food, clothes and afford education as my grandchildren are required to pay R200 each and every month and other necessities.

“Without this support, the family worry that they will not be able to break the cycle of poverty and create a better future for the next generation.”

Molapo said that the oldest child has been looking for work but has been difficult to find one and they hope that the government increases the value of the grant to help those in need.

Despite the challenges they face, the Molapo family has not given up hope.

“I am doing everything I can to provide for my grandchildren and give them a better education.

“The children are resilient and determined to succeed, even though they have faced more hardship than most children their age.

“The eldest child, is excelling in school and dreams of becoming a doctor one day though she was unsuccessful when applying for R350 relief grant.

“All my grandchildren share a belief that with hard work and perseverance, they can overcome the obstacles in front of them,” said Molapo.

Godongwana reported a R100 increase in grants for the elderly, veterans of war, those with disabilities and care dependency grants.

“This amount will be divided into R90 effective from April and R10 effective from October.

*A R20 increase in the child support grant.

*A R50 increase in the foster-care grant.

“We acknowledge the increasing cost of living for the approximately 19 million South Africans who depend on these payments for living.

“In this regard, we have done as much as the fiscal envelope allows.”

Concerning the difficulties of getting R350 relief grant, Godongwana stated that work is currently under way to improve the Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant by April this year.

“National Treasury will work with the Department of Social Development in ensuring that improvements in this grant are captured in the final regulations.

“These improvements will be within the current fiscal framework. For the extension of the grant beyond March 2025, the social security policy reforms, together with the funding source, will be finalised,” said Godongwana.

According to Molapo, they feel relieved and thankful for the increase in the social grant.

“It has been so difficult to make ends meet on such a small amount of money, and I have often worried about how I would provide for my grandchildren.

“This increase will make a huge difference in our lives. I am so grateful to the government for taking this step and I hope that it will continue to support families like mine in the future.

“I know that this increase won’t solve all of our problems, but it’s a step in the right direction and I feel a sense of hope and confident for the future,” she said.

She further explained how overjoyed she is to hear that the minister is making improvements to the relief grant so that it’s easier for her grandchild to apply for the R350 grant.

“Am hopeful that things will improve for my grandchild and for other families like ours. It’s a relief to know that the government is taking action to address this issue,” she said.

The Star

Nobukhosi Tshabalala

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