If the noisy suburban echo chamber repeats something often enough, it does not become a fact. According to a middle-class urban legend, SA’s spending on social grants has increased astronomically since 1994. It is now too high and unaffordable. But the facts tell a different story.

According to the 1996 Budget Review, social grants paid by welfare departments were equivalent to 2.4% of GDP. On May 31 1995 there were 2.9-million beneficiaries of social grants. The social assistance budget was spent on grants for the elderly (60%), the disabled (24%) and maintenance grants (14%). Racial parity in awards to the elderly and to disabled people was achieved by the end of September 1993, and in July 1995 the value of these grants was R410 a month for all population groups...

Subscribe now to unlock this article.

Support BusinessLIVE’s award-winning journalism for R129 per month (digital access only).

There’s never been a more important time to support independent journalism in SA. Our subscription packages now offer an ad-free experience for readers.

Cancel anytime.

Would you like to comment on this article?
Sign up (it's quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.