Despite the tough budget environment, the Treasury has protected welfare grants from the effects of inflation, in line with the government’s commitment to protect SA’s most vulnerable citizens. Most grants will increase by an average of 5% in 2019. One in three South Africans is currently the recipient of a welfare grant, which reach 17.6-million people — considerably more than the 16-million people who have jobs.

The government’s spending on social grants is projected to rise from R162.6bn in 2019/2020 to R202.9bn in 2021/2022, growing at an average rate of 7.6% a year over the medium-term expenditure framework. Over this period the number of social grant recipients is expected to rise from 17.6-million people to 18.6-million. The vast majority of these grant beneficiaries are children: the child support grant, which will rise from an average R405 a month in 2019r to R425 a month in 2019/2020, currently reaches 12.5-million children. Recipients of the old-age grant, which rea...

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