Government grants not enough

Maryanne Maina

Maryanne Maina

Sweetie Nxazonke has been on the social security and assistance grants programme for a year. Every month she receives R850 to help her to support her family.

"I use this money to pay the children's school fees and to buy groceries. I have five children and this money is not enough for their fees," said Nxazonke. "I have to work on a part-time basis to make a little more money for our survival," she said.Nxazonke is one of 10million South Africans who are now receiving social grants. The total cost to the government has swelled to R70billion a year, making it the fastest growing category of government expenditure. The amount of money that Nxazonke receives is not sufficient to invest in an business opportunity that will provide her with a sustainable income and therefore she has to look for alternative sources of income for her family's upkeep. Social grants are financed entirely from the government revenue. They are provided to impoverished individuals in cash so they can meet their basic needs. Commission chairman Stan Sangweni said: "The government is doing a good job by providing these grants, which are addressing poverty by putting food on the table and being used to educate children. The situation in South Africa has proven that there are many grandparents paying for the fees of their grandchildren. "But poverty is much more complex and therefore it needs to be dealt with extensively. "The government needs to implement strategies that will deal with poverty. " This poverty exists because people don't have income and the social grants do not deal with this," he said. Nxazonke.

"I have to work on a part-time basis to make a little more money for our survival," she said.

Nxazonke is one of 10million South Africans who are now receiving social grants. The total cost to the government has swelled to R70billion a year, making it the fastest growing category of government expenditure.

The amount of money that Nxazonke receives is not sufficient to invest in an business opportunity that will provide her with a sustainable income and therefore she has to look for alternative sources of income for her family's upkeep.

Social grants are financed entirely from the government revenue. They are provided to impoverished individuals in cash so they can meet their basic needs.

Commission chairman Stan Sangweni said: "The government is doing a good job by providing these grants, which are addressing poverty by putting food on the table and being used to educate children. The situation in South Africa has proven that there are many grandparents paying for the fees of their grandchildren.

"But poverty is much more complex and therefore it needs to be dealt with extensively.

"The government needs to implement strategies that will deal with poverty.

" This poverty exists because people don't have income and the social grants do not deal with this," he said.

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