Social grant increases on the cards: Gordhan

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Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan presents South Africa's budget for 2014.

CAPE TOWN - Government continues to spend on social grants, upping its social protection spend from R118-billion in 2013/14 to R145-billion in 2016/17.

Government has budgeted R128-billion for social grants in the 2014/15 financial year.

In its 2014 Budget Review, Treasury says social grant expenditure “will remain significant at over 3 per cent of GDP.”

“The child support and old age grants are the two largest grant programmes, constituting about 75% of total grant spending,” the review says.

This year the child support grant will increase twice, from R300 to R310 in April and then to R320 in October.

Speaking at an embargoed news briefing before delivering his fifth budget speech, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said the Zuma administration would not heed calls to decrease spending on grants.

“The narrative is always cut social wage. That is not the direction this government has taken,” Gordhan said.

Disability and old age grants for under 75s have increased from R1 265 to R1 350, a difference of R85 or 6,7%.

War veteran grants will increase from R1 285 to R1 370, a difference of R85 or 6,6%.