The Black Sash Responds to the 2019 Budget Speech
Media statement for immediate release – 20 Feb 2019
The Minister of Finance today announced social grant increases of 4,7% for old age and 4,8% for child support grants, respectively. Both these increases do not take account of the inflation rate of 5,2% year on year as at 31 December 2018. The Child Support Grant (CSG), currently at R410, does not meet the food poverty line. The Black Sash urges government to increase the CSG to at least the food poverty line mark of R550.
Furthermore the minister also announced a petrol increase of 29c per litre and a diesel increase of 30c per litre. These increases would have a knock on effect in terms of food and transport and will further decrease the value of the grant.
We remain concerned about the growing number of unemployed people aged 18-59 with no income support from government. South Africa closed 2018 with an unemployment rate of 25,6% at the narrow definition and 37% at the broad definition. The Black Sash calls on our government to uphold their constitutional duty, and provide social assistance to this cohort.