The social development department has proposed that social grants payments should be doubled for six months, the Mail & Guardian reported.
The department reportedly made the proposal to the interministerial committee tasked with finding solutions to improve the economy after Stats SA announced on Tuesday that the country was now officially in a technical recession.
The proposal by the department was reportedly confirmed by Deputy Finance Minister Mondli Gungubele who was sceptical about its success.
According to the report, Gungubele said the fiscus would not be able to bear the doubled payments of social grants for six months.
The deputy minister of finance told the weekly publication that the proposal would have to be scrutinized to ensure that once implemented it would certainly boost the economy.
“Remember, if that is done within the fiscal framework, it will not be a problem. But I doubt how it will be done unless there is a reprioritising of expenditure towards the social development department,” Gungubele was quoted.
The deputy minister added that he believed the country’s fiscal strength has been exhausted which is why he didn’t see more being spent on social grants payments.
Maintaining government’s debt, the salaries it must pay, and social spending demand the most from the country’s fiscus, Gungubele told the newspaper.
The spokesperson for Social Development Minister Susan Shabangu said it could not be debated that social grants should be doubled momentarily.
If the department’s proposal is to be put in motion, then R150 billion would be spent over the next six months, it was further reported.