PRETORIA: South Africa’s government has worryingly revealed that almost half of the population are now receiving some sort of financial support or grant.
In a presentation to parliament this week, the Department of Social Development said that about 31% of the South African population relies on social grants – which include everything from disability to childcare.
Furthermore, there are approximately 10 million beneficiaries who also depend on the monthly R350 special Covid-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant alone.
This takes the total number of South Africans who rely on social transfers to about 47%.
Government is also presently considering the feasibility of introducing a basic income grant in South Africa which is expected to widen the social safety net further.
Writing in his weekly letter to the public this week, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that this would need to be done within the country’s constrained public finances, with the government already offering support through existing systems such as the R350 social relief of distress grant.
In February, the National Treasury said it was still considering proposals around a universal basic income grant for South Africa, but it maintained that it cannot be done in a fiscally irresponsible way.
Darul Ihsan Media Desk