Millions of the poorest people in South Africa rely on the government’s social subsidies for survival. Earlier this month, discussions took held to figure out how to assist reduce South Africa’s staggering poverty and unemployment rates.
African National Congress (ANC) President Cyril Ramaphosa was present during their 55th National Conference, along with other ANC leaders. Public holidays commemorating pivotal moments in South African history were observed on December 16, 2023, the day of the Conference.
According to the President, “Defend and Advance the Gains of Freedom: Unity through Renewal” was this year’s conference theme.
The President’s address highlighted the need of addressing the issue of poverty in the United States.
About 18.2 million South Africans were living in extreme poverty as of 2022, an increase of about 123,000 from the previous year (2021).
South Africa’s poverty is a major issue that looks to be getting worse, but it has also given rise to a number of government programs designed to help the poor.
Social Relief of Distress (SRD) Grant, Basic Income Grant (BIG), Youth Unemployment Initiatives, and other similar programs are examples of government assistance.
Social grants are the primary source of income for nearly a quarter of all households.
In 1999, there were slightly more than 2.5 million persons getting social handouts; today, that number is more than 18 million.
Nearly half of all South African families received at least one grant thanks to the establishment of the special SRD grant during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Some scholars have hypothesized that the poverty rate among the poorest households would have been 5 percentage points higher if not for the increase in social support during the past two years.
The Conference was held on a public holiday known as Day of Reconciliation that was instituted in 1995, following the end of apartheid, to promote reconciliation and national unity in the country.