Be prepared to work even harder to pay for the upkeep of the 'masses'.
It is a semi-decent gesture but where will all this money come from?
If I wasn’t so cynical, I would say it has something to do with next year’s elections and an ANC vote-buying exercise – with taxpayer’s money.
It’s kinda like taking a page out of Mad Bob’s book on election rigging. These ideas always appear just before an election and no doubt the ANC will milk it to the high heavens from now until election day.
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Social Development Minister Zola Skweyiya has announced that people earning R2,200 a month will soon qualify for welfare assistance. This is expected to help an additional two million South Africans.
Addressing the National Assembly during the department’s budget debate, Skweyiya said the current means test, where people earning more than R1,500 a month did not qualify for grants, had kept many people out of the social security system.
“Consequently, we have agreed to work towards the removal of the archaic means test on certain grant types. This will have the consequence of removing the urban/rural qualification divide whilst raising the threshold to R2,200 per month for child support, old age and disability grants,” he said.
The changes are meant to assist the poor to cope with current economic challenges characterised by high inflation and rising food prices.
“All these reforms in our social security system will go a long way towards widening the social security safety net and may see the entry into the system of 2 million deserving people,” he said.
The new measures would be implemented in phases.
The department set aside R124 million this year to assist those most affected by the escalation of food prices.
“In response to poverty and vulnerability in the context of raising food prices, we will do whatever is within our reach to ensure that every qualifying and vulnerable citizen receives the social relief of distress grant,” the Minister said.