The notion that the ANC government has abandoned poor South Africans to perish is unfounded. Contrary to that, the government is assisting over 17 million poor South Africans. And is spending a lot to do that each month.
The sentiment above was expressed by the nations’ Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga.
She made the remarks while she was presenting an update on the achievements of the Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster towards the attainment of the National Development Plan.
“It is also worth noting that this year, SASSA is celebrating ten years of its existence,” she said.
“Through Social Assistance Programme which is part of the country’s Social Protection System, more than 17 million poor South Africans are receiving social grants from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) to the value of R10 billion per month.
The Government is continuing to improve the living conditions of poor, vulnerable and underprivileged South Africans from within the length and breadth of our country.
These include unemployed South Africans as well as orphaned and vulnerable children living in child-headed households. We do this as part of our response to the current economic downturn which is affecting all of us,” Motshekga proclaimed.
With that, the Minister disclosed that the National Development Plan’s intent is to wholly eradicated poverty by 2030. According to her, it’s a difficult task but the government will make it happen.
Thereafter, she asserted that the government is set to reduce the rate of unemployment to just 6 percent. To achieve that, the government will create 11 million jobs by 2030.
She praised the EPWP Social Sector saying it has consistently played a significant role in responding to the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“This fact was confirmed in the recently completed EPWP Social Sector 2014/15 Evaluation report by Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. This report found that ‘Over the past five years on average 71% of participants were women and 51% were young people’.
This is a huge boost to our efforts to fight the scourge of unemployment especially amongst the youth,” intoned Motshekga.
According to her, the good performance of the various Social Sector departments triggered the increase in the EPWP Incentive Grant allocation.
The Incentive Grant allocation, she said, increased from R240 563 million in 2015/16 to R359-million in 2016/17 across all provinces.