Old age grant test to be scrapped

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Cape Town – The current means test for the old age grant will be phased out in order to simplify administration and prevent the exclusion of vulnerable individuals, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced in the Budget Speech on Wednesday.

“All citizens over a designated age will be eligible for the grant which will simplify its administration and address the disincentive to save that arises from the present means test,” Gordhan said.

He announced that the old age and disability grants will increase from R1200 a month to R1260 from April.  The foster care grant increases from R770 to R800 while the child support grant increases to R290 in April and to R300 in October.  

More than half of all households in South Africa benefit from government's social assistance programme.

According to the Treasury, for 22 percent of households, social grants are the main source of income.  More than 11 million children receive the child support grant. The social assistance budget increased by an average of 11 percent a year since 2008/09, in part due to the extension of the child support grant to the children up to the age of 18.

Gordhan said spending on social assistance will rise to R120 billion next year. – SAnews.gov.za