President Cyril Ramaphosa Photo: DIRCO
- President Cyril Ramaphosa said the money the government spent on social protection was not wasted.
- He added that the focus should be on building the economy to strengthen social protection measures and support the poor.
- Ramaphosa said the expansion of social protection can only happen at the pace and scale that the expenditures can afford.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says social grants make a real difference to people’s lives.
In his weekly newsletter on Monday, Ramaphosa said the focus should be on building the economy to strengthen social protection measures and support the poor.
He reiterated Nelson Mandela’s belief that “with poverty persists, there is no true freedom,” referring to the fact that the government had spent millions on social wages.
The country is set to celebrate Mandela International Day next week, and Ramaphosa said his government has recommitted to building the community to which Mandela dedicated his life.
“Since the advent of our democracy, we have devoted significant efforts and resources to alleviating poverty and reducing inequality.
“Through large social protection programmes, the government has provided vital support to millions of South Africans, lifting many out of extreme poverty and meeting many of their needs.”
He added that the government is working to rebuild the economy, create more job opportunities, and open opportunities for startups.
In his newsletter, the president said the government spent about 60% of its budget on social wages excluding debt servicing costs.
The Social Pay is free basic services and basic education as well as health and social grants such as the Social Relief Grant which has been temporarily created during Covid-19.
Ramaphosa said that the expansion of social protection can only happen at the pace and scale that the expenditures can afford.
“We are focused on growing our economy and developing sustainable solutions to support pro-poor spending,” he added.