Usage free basic services declines as poverty rises, report shows

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The Child Support Grant Review Report has revealed that there has been a decline in the number of people who are eligible for free basic services, despite the fact that poverty is on the rise.

The 2023 review was aimed at reflecting on the state of child poverty in the country, documenting the policy process in the development and expansion of the grant as well as reviewing the impact on child poverty.

The R510-a-month Child Support Grant has successfully reached 13 million children.

The allocated budget for the 2022/23 financial year was R77 billion.

Finance analyst from Parliament’s budget office, Sibusiswe Sibeko says this means that municipalities are giving less and less to people who need it the most.

“What we are finding is that the people who are entitled to the free basic services are actually declining, which means that municipalities are giving less and less to the people who need it the most, even though we know that poverty is increasing and so we should be seeing the same increases here. So what we found is that between 2018 and 2019 is that 1 million fewer people got free water in municipalities and 645 000 got less sewerage and sanitation and electricity, so millions of households are eligible but they are not getting them.”