Mbabane: Despite hopes from boGogo na boMkhulu on the budget speech, the minister of finance Neal Rijkenberg made no mention of any increments on social grants.
This means that grants remain at E500 per month for the elderly and disability grant at E280 per month.
Social grants are issued by government to vulnerable groups which include the disability grants as well as the old age grants.
Speaking on Friday in Parliament when delivering his E24.04 billion budget, the minister of finance highlighted that government will continue continued to prioritize the needs of the vulnerable groups in our society by providing various social transfers, therefore E746.8 million has been allocated to the Deputy Prime Minister’s Office in order to continue with these essential services.
The minister noted that the country has successfully provided cash grants to persons with disabilities, there will be new additions to the beneficiaries list in 2021. He said government is in the process of developing an automated cash transfer system that will improve the efficiency and turn-around time for all grant-disbursements. To enhance safety during the pandemic, Government, in partnership with mobile money operators, was able to temporarily switch to mobile cash transfers for a majority of beneficiaries.
The minister noted that government has over the past year recorded a steady annual increment of beneficiaries for Elderly Grants. Social grants are administered n the deputy prime minister office.
He noted that the Orphan and Vulnerable Children’s fund (OVC) has effectively enrolled all vulnerable children in high-school in the country, contributing, in turn to significant improvements in high-school enrolment rates over the years.
Worth nothing is that the coronavirus pandemic has pushed vulnerable groups in our country back into poverty. Through NDMA, Baphalali Red Cross Eswatini and other major stakeholders, Government has extended support to vulnerable members of the public.
In February 2020 the minister of financed announced an increment of social grants a move which was well received by the beneficiaries. The old aged grants know as allowance for boGogo na boMkhulu was increased from E400 to E500 per month. The monthly grant for the disabled has been increased from E180 to E280 per month and was with effect from January 2020. Making this announcement last February the minister said “We hope the revised grant allocations will provide some relief to our most vulnerable, while fully acknowledging that this is only the first step towards the creation of a benefitting social security net”.