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Social Grants and poverty relief in South Africa

October is Social Development month in South Africa. For 16,8 million South African grant recipients, their monthly social grant payments stand between survival and starvation. The beneficiaries include people with disabilities, pensioners, war veterans and children.

South Africa’s monthly social grant payments have increased since April 2015. Government’s aim is to provide 17.5m people with social grants by 2018, and an additional amount of R7.1 billion has been included in the National Treasury budget to accommodate the growth in numbers.

Research show the following benefits of social grants:

  • Reduced poverty – According to Statistics South Africa’s report Poverty trends in South Africa there has been a decline in poverty between 2006 and 2011
  • Improved wealth distribution
  • Improved food security among poor households
  • Economic growth within communities
  • 11 Million children are currently benefitting from social grants
  • Improved achievement levels in early childhood development

Types of social grants

  • Child Support Grant: R330.00 per month 
  • Older Person’s Grant (pension): R1 420.00 per month (R1 440.00 for people over 75) 
  • Disability Grant: R1 420.00 per month 
  • Grant-in-Aid (for people who need a full-time caregiver): R330.00 per month 
  • Care Dependency Grant (to look after a child with severe disability): R1 420.00 per month 
  • War Veteran’s Grant: R1 440.00 per month 
  • Foster Child Grant: R860.00 per child per month 
  • Social relief of distress (temporary relief for people in dire need): food parcels or vouchers 

During October, communities will be engaged to identify their problem areas and to assist with developing and implementing action plans to deal with these challenges. The Food for All Campaign is addressing incidents of extreme hunger and malnutrition. Another campaign in conjunction with The National Development Agency (NDA) and the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) aims to inform communities of the various social security programs available to them and how to get access to them.

Information booklets on social grants are available from:



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