Government is mulling whether to extend child grants for poor children to include young adults up to the age of 23.
According to Spokesperson for the Minister of Social Development Lumka Oliphant, a policy decision hasn’t yet been taken but talks around the issue have begun.
“It’s clear from the Budget that South Africa is, literally, out of money,” says lead researcher and economist at Nascence Research Insight Xhanti Payi. “There just isn’t any more to divide as our economy isn’t growing fast enough,” warns Payi. “It’s surprising that this discussion is even happening.”
Government spends nearly R120-billion on social grants to about 16-million South Africans each year. “These numbers have been growing steadily,” warns Payi.
Payi believes that part of the reasons why many countries in Europe are bankrupt is their extensive social welfare systems.
“We must ask ourselves how we’re going to decrease – not increase – the number of people receiving social grants,” says Payi. “Is Government spending enough money to reverse our social problems rather than merely plugging the holes?”
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