Government Social Grants in South Africa Benefit 19 Million Citizens – South African News Briefings as of October 13, 2023

 Nearly 19 Million South Africans Rely on Permanent Social Grants, South Africa has close to 19 million citizens surviving on permanent government social grants and it’s costing the taxpayer more than R200 billion per year.

In addition, about 8.5 million recipients are receiving the R350 COVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant, incurring expenses of R30.2 billion for the 2022/23 financial year. Delays and irregular payments contribute to the financial burden.

The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) is responsible for more than 27 million beneficiaries each month, representing about 45% of the country’s population.

This information was shared during a Portfolio Committee on Social Development meeting, where concerns about audit issues, administration problems, and the impact of high unemployment were raised.  Social grants reduce poverty and contribute to the reduction of income inequality in the country.

Sanral Chair Earned Double Despite Missing Road Targets

Themba Mhambi, board chair of the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), earned R3 million in board fees over the past financial year, more than double that of former Transnet chair Popo Molefe or Eskom chair Malegapuru Makgoba in 2022, reports News24.

This makes him one of the highest-earning chairpersons in the public sector, despite chairing one of the smaller entities. Sanral held 24 board meetings over the period of 2022-2023, 19 of which were “special board meetings”.

Despite achieving an unqualified audit, Sanral underperformed during the period under review, completing only half of its planned road network projects. Sanral also failed to meet the conditions for a R22.7 billion debt relief from the Treasury, creating doubts about its financial sustainability. The debt relief was meant to address unpaid e-tolls, but Gauteng has yet to contribute their share.

R5.4 Billion Recovered from Guptas’ R72.3 Billion Loot

The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and its partners have managed to restrain or preserve R14 billion of the R72.3 billion looted from the state by the Gupta family, with R5.4 billion successfully recovered, reports News24.

Despite unsuccessful extradition attempts, the NPA, under the leadership of Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi, emphasised its significant progress in combatting state capture.

The NPA’s Investigating Directorate has undertaken 99 investigations and initiated 34 cases involving 205 accused individuals. This information is contained in the NPA’s presentation on its annual report to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services.

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