The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is very concerning that almost a third of the country’s population is dependent on social grants.
Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu revealed that more than 18 million people receive a form of grant payment, a big increase from the 7% that received grants in 1996.
According to the DA, the first sharp increase to 20% of the population receiving grants happened in the 2004/05 financial year and has been rising steadily since, with 30% of South Africans having to rely on grants since 2010/11.
DA MP, Bridget Masango, says in an answer out of a written Parliamentary reply, it is indicated that 31% of South Africans rely on social grants for survival.
According to Masango, this number is not only due to COVID-19 related grants but shows the economic decline of the country.
“Since 2010, almost 18 million people who could have had jobs and want to work have not found employment, have to rely on grants. Not good for those who want to work and willing to work, but environment such that unemployment so high that don’t get jobs.”
Masango says grants have replaced salaries. She says that while the DA supports the payment of grants, job creation should be a priority.
“For many households, grant payments have replaced salaries as their source of income. While the DA supports the payment of grants, the creation of jobs is of the utmost importance. South Africans need jobs, not just for financial stability but also for the dignity it provides, and the government has utterly failed to stimulate job growth.”
She says the ANC has led South Africans into poverty.
“The data clearly indicates that the ANC government and its policies have had an active hand in impoverishing South Africans long before global economic implosions, State Capture or the COVID-19 pandemic made their marks in the history books. These policies and strategies often hailed as economic saviours that will invigorate the economy and provide jobs aplenty, serve only the corrupt and politically connected.”