More South Africans on social grants than those earning an income

A statement by the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) says that more people in South Africa are receiving social grants from government than those that have jobs.

SAIRR researcher, Gerbrandt van Heerden, says the number of people receiving social grants has increased by 328% since 2001.

According to van Heerden this is not sustainable because the employment rate has only increased by 24%.

I think a crisis has already started because we are seeing a large number of protests happening across the country.

Gerbrandt van Heerden, SAIRR researcher

This creates a perfect climate for social unrest to occur and for racial tensions to flare up.

Gerbrandt van Heerden, SAIRR researcher

The current situation is due to the fact that South Africa has had a very low economic growth in the past years and that severely affects the economy's ability to create jobs, says van Heerden.

He says the government at this point has an option to cut expenditure or lease more money.

Social grants haves had a positive impact on the country in that it has improved the quality of life, but of course, it is not sustainable.

Gerbrandt van Heerden, SAIRR researcher

What is sustainable is to improve the quality of education for South Africans so that they are able to find well paying jobs.

Gerbrandt van Heerden, SAIRR researcher

To hear more of this interview, listen below:


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