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Why Social Grants?

26 October 2012, 11:44

SASSA reported that there are over 15 million social grant beneficiaries in South Africa; accounting for 105 Billion of the National Budget. With child grants accounting for the highest proportion, followed by Old Age Grants and Disability Grants. Nationally, beneficiaries are mostly females.

Growing in rural areas exposed me to rather robust debates about social grants. The debates differed in many aspects. And recently after Parvin Gordhan’s mini-budget speech delivery comments were made on Social Grants by the general public.

As learners in a public we would get teachers screaming at us at school telling us that the “fees” we are paying come from their pockets even if they did not know our parents' source of income.

And this is how most tax-payers feel like.

I will sometimes hear my male friends saying teenage pregnancy is motivated by social grants and that is why we see so many girls getting pregnant and dropping out from school.

Still now, that belief grows stronger.


And then what?

Millions of South Africans women and children depend on social grants for their livelihood.

These children's parents work as domestic workers or in many cases are unemployed because they lack the necessary skills for proper jobs, and some children are orphaned by HIV & Aids.

The grants support these impoverished families. They buy school uniforms, clothes, books and all other necessities.

When they come back from school; social grants ensure that there is food on the table and there is light at night when they do their homework.

And they put most of these kids out of the streets and prevent them from doing crime.

Social grant go a long way.

I know of people  here at varsity who are on Financial Aid and depend of their grandmothers' Old Age grant for varsity expenses.

I am a commuter on Metro-Rail trains. It makes me want to cry when I see disabled people walking up and down the train singing and playing music instruments so that people can give them money. And most of these people are not South Africans. They come from countries such as Zimbabwe.

I don’t want the same situations for South Africans. I would hate to know that there is a South African in a moving Zimbabwean or Zambian train singing for money.

Social grants  help the Disabled South Africans put food on their tables as they are incapable of making their own income.Preventing them from singing in trains in foreign countries. 

I respect people’s opinions on this matter, but I don’t think there is a woman who will get a baby just because she wants to be registered for a R250 Child grant.A child cost more than that in just one week.

I respect the taxpayers because it’s their money used to help these families. And, I would love it if they did not think their monies are used stupidly.

South Africa is a welfare developing state. A country leading with inequalities and with the highest poverty rate. With challenges in education, health, crime and employment.

And social grants is one of the many tools used to make sure that people faced with those challenges have something to live on.

It will rather be inhumane for someone to say government should cut "CHILD" "OLD AGE" and "DISABILITY" grants.

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