Tito Mboweni announces social grant increases in 2021 budget speech

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Image credit: Twitter/National Treasury

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced social grant increases in his 2021 budget speech in Parliament on Wednesday (24 February 2021) – but the increases are less than inflation.

Mboweni’s budget allocated R335.3 billion to social development in the 2021/22 financial year. Of this, R105.9 billion will go to social security funds, out of which R86.5 billion will be for old age grants, R73.3 billion for child support grants and R35.7 billion for other grants.

Social grant increase 2021

Mboweni announced that social grants in 2021 will increase as follows:

  1. Old age, disability and care dependency grants will increase by R30 from R1,860 to R1,890.
  2. Old age grant (over 75) will increase by R30 from R1,880 to R1,910.
  3. War veterans grant will increase by R30 from to R1,880 to R1,910.
  4. Child support grant will increase by R15 from R445 to R460.
  5. Foster care grant will increase by R10 from R1,040 to R1050.
  6. Disability grant will increase by R30 from R1,860 to R1,890.
  7. Care dependency grant will increase by R30 from R1,860 to R1,890.

In the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF), however, annual budgetary allocations to social grants are set to decrease even as the number of people relying on grants is projected to rise.

In its main budget, Treasury stated, “Total social grants are reduced by R5.8 billion in 2021/22, R10.7 billion in 2022/23 and R19.5 billion in 2023/24. All grant values will increase by less than inflation. The number of beneficiaries is expected to increase by about 300,000 people over the period.”

R350 SRD grant extension

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a three-month extension of the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) earlier in February.

In line with this announcement, Mboweni allocated funds in the budget to care for the extension. “R6.3 billion is allocated to extend the special COVID-19 social relief of distress grant until the end of April 2021,” he said.

The Department of Social Development will provide R3.5 billion to the provinces to improve access to early childhood development services, the Minister added.

The budget also allocated R23.6 billion to provincial social development departments and a further R10.2 billion for policy oversight and grant administration.

“R678.3 million is earmarked for provincial departments of social development and basic education to continue rolling out free sanitary products for learners from low-income households,” Mboweni said.

“Government remains committed to ensuring that deserving students are supported through higher education,” he added.

“The National Treasury is working with the Department of Higher Education and Training to work on policy and funding options that will be detailed in the MTBPS.”

Click here to read Tito Mboweni’s budget speech 2021 in full.

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