South Africa

Government will spend R266 billion on social grants in 2024

Social grants

The National Treasure estimates that it will spend R266.21 billion on social grants in the 2024/25 financial year – 3.6% of GDP.

This is a significant increase from the 2023/24 financial year when the government spent R250.97 billion.

However, notably, the National Treasury estimates that its spending on social grants will decrease in the next three years.

For 2025/26, it forecasts spending R248.41 billion, and for 2026/27, it estimates R259.79 billion.

Both of these expenditures will constitute 3.1% of GDP.

Over the medium-term expenditure framework (MTEF) period, R1.17 trillion is allocated for social grants and welfare services and to strengthen advocacy for women, youth and people living with disabilities. 

Social grants constitute 81.8% of spending in this function over the medium term. 

Expenditure on social grants – excluding the Covid-19 social relief of distress (SRD) grant – will increase from R217.1 billion in 2023/24 to R259.3 billion in 2026/27 to keep pace with inflation and increase access for the eligible population. 

The Covid-19 social relief of distress grant is allocated R33.6 billion in 2024/25. 

Interestingly, this is a decrease from the R33.89 billion Treasury spent on the SRD grant in 2023/24.

In addition, provisional allocations for social protection are added to the fiscal framework in 2025/26 and 2026/27, pending a decision on the continuity and funding sources of the grant beyond March 2025. 

In total, 27.78 million people received grants in 2023/24, and this is expected to increase to 28.31 million this year.

Over 9.2 million people will receive the SRD grant this year.

Grant beneficiaries – excluding Covid-19 social relief of distress grant beneficiaries – are projected to increase from 18.8 million in 2023/24 to 19.7 million in 2026/27. 

The child support grant and old age grant make up 64.9% of total grant expenditure over the MTEF period. 

The old age grant, war veterans grant, disability grant, and care dependency grant will all

increase by R90 in April 2024 and another R10 in October 2024. 

The foster care grant will increase by R50 in April 2024, and the child support grant will rise by R20 in April 2024. 


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