HOW THE BUDGET AFFECTS YOU
From April this year, the disability and old age grants will be increased with R70 to R940 a month. The child support grant will be increased by R10 in April and by another R10 in October to make it R220 a month. In January 2009, the child support grant will be extended to include children up to 15 years old. The age for men to get old age pension will be reduced from 65 to 63 this year, to 61 in 2009 and to 60 by 2010.
Safety and security
To help fight crime, the Department of Safety and Security will get an extra R10 billion over the next three years. The money will be used to employ more police officers, prosecutors, magistrates and judges. Forty new police stations will also be built.
More than R1,5 billion will help to feed about 7 million school children this year. Over the next three years, R18 billion will be spent on school buildings and on equipment to make schools safer. Pre-school education will be accessible to even the poorest households. More money will be made available for the National Student Financial Aid Scheme and for further education colleges.
Personal income tax
People who earn less than R46 000 a year (about R3 800 per month) will not pay tax.
An amount of R1 billion will be used to support job creating programmes which fall under the Expanded Public Works Programme. The Department of Trade and Industry will get an additional R2,3 billion over the next three years to support job creation.
Provincial governments that run social development programmes which help to reduce poverty, will get R238 billion. This is the biggest share of the budget and is a 16 per cent increase from last year’s budget.
The budgets of the departments of housing; provincial and local government; water affairs and forestry; sport and recreation; and transport have been increased by R17 billion. This will be used to improve infrastructure like roads, railways, water supply and sewerage over the next three years.
R14,1 billion will be available to improve health services. Nurses’ wages will go up and about 25 000 posts will be filled by 2010. Some of the money will be used to build new hospitals and fix up old ones. More money will be available for HIV and Aids programmes and TB treatment.
- Ndivhuwo Khangale and Muzi Mkhwanazi
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