4,493 of 10,000 signatures

This Wednesday, Finance Minister Godongwana will announce how much social grants will increase by in his budget speech. If enough of us come together, we can ensure he feels the pressure to make a significant increase! The Minister is now looking at public comments for tips as he finalises his budget. So we have to act fast.

 

Since 2020, the cost of living in Mzansi has gone up [1], pushing many households into deeper poverty. For years people have called for proper social grant increases so people can live with dignity, but we have seen social grant increases as low as R10 [2]. President Ramaphosa is now clearly feeling the pressure to act because he mentioned the government is working on a Basic Income Grant (BIG) and that social grants must increase to help people because of rising inflation [3]. 

 

We don't know by how much Finance Minister Godongwana will increase social grants, but we know that for years, social grant increases have not kept up with the real cost of living. Social grants have not been enough, to begin with. If we act quickly, we can ensure a proper increase on all grants. In his Budget Speech on 22 February 2023, Minister Godongwana must increase all grants, including the R350 grant, by R500. If all grants are increased by R500, the new grants amounts would provide urgent relief to help households put food on the table.

 

In the long term, a Basic Income Grant of R1417 must be implemented by 1 April 2024 and must be given to all those aged 18 - 59 with little to no income. Furthermore, all issues with the R350 grant must be urgently fixed, more budget must be allocated, and all those who qualify for it, including caregivers, must get it.

 

[1] Rough start to 2023 for hungry South Africans, BusinessTech, 5 January 2023

 

[2] A R10 grant increase won’t keep older people from going hungry, Bridget Sleap for Daily Maverick, 10 November 2022

 

[3] FULL SPEECH | SONA 2023: Ramaphosa's plans for infrastructure, cost of living and the energy crisis, News24, 09 February 2023

 

Dear Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana and President Ramaphosa,

 

Over the past two years, you have continuously tabled budgets that pushed the marginalised majority deeper into poverty. You have increased grants with very low amounts that made almost no difference as the cost of living continues to rise. President Ramaphosa, you committed in your SONA to leave no one behind. So now you need to show up for the people, save lives and increase all grants by R500 as a step towards ensuring no one suffers the indignity of poverty. 

 

Social grants are the main means of survival for millions of households in Mzansi. The bad economy, rising inflation and lack of income opportunities have left millions in poverty. For many years people have been promised better living conditions and the creation of income opportunities. However, over 20 years later, people are still waiting for these promises to become a reality. Increasing social grants by R500 would be an immediate and effective way to help people move forward and live with dignity. You have the responsibility to save lives and ensure families are not malnourished, can afford other basic necessities, create income opportunities for themselves, and look for work.

 

We hereby demand that you increase all social grants by R500 during your Budget Speech. Furthermore, we demand that you allocate funds for a Basic Income Grant and implement it by 1 April 2024.

 

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