The rand continued its positive trajectory following the State of The Nation Address, gaining 2.9% in February, closing the month at R13.14/USD. This offered consumers some relief in the form of lower fuel prices in March. The Finance Minister announced a disciplined National Budget for 2017, with consumers impacted by increases in excise duties, a 30c/litre addition to the fuel levy and 5% increase in the dividend tax rate. SASSA is yet to finalise a deal with service provider CPS for the latter to extend its existing grant payment contract which terminates at March end. This represents a significant risk to the consumer, especially in the lower LSM segments.