47 percent of South Africans rely on social assistance

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South African rand
South African rand

The number of South Africans who rely on social transfers has reached to about 47 percent of the total population, South African Social Security Agency told lawmakers on Tuesday.

More than 18.57 million South African people relied on social grants as of December 31, 2021, accounting for about 31 percent of the total population, while another approximately 10 million people depended on the special COVID-19 relief grant, which provided beneficiaries with 350 South African rands (22 U.S. dollars) per month, the agency said while briefing Parliament’s Select Committee on Health and Social Services about its annual performance plan for 2022/2023 fiscal year, starting in April.

The social assistance transfers costs 204 billion rands a year, excluding special COVID-19 relief grant, read the figures.

The agency estimated social grants’ beneficiaries will further increase to 18.9 million in March 2023.

It said that its main focus in the current fiscal year would be contributing to poverty reduction by continuing to provide social assistance to older persons, people with disabilities and children who are unable to support themselves, providing temporary reprieve to individuals and families experiencing temporary distress, among others. Enditem

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