n Gender and Behaviour - The South African Social Grant System : a positive effect on poverty alleviation and unforeseen socio-cultural consequences - research

Volume 17 Number 4
  • ISSN : 1596-9231


This article presents an analysis of the extent to which South Africa’s cash transfer (social grants) system has a positive effect on poverty alleviation, and unforeseen socio-cultural consequences. The child support, disability and old age pension grants have been selected for discussion because out of the 17.2 million social grants beneficiaries in South Africa, around 16.3 million come from these three categories. As a poverty alleviation strategy, social grants provide an income to qualifying poor individuals to relieve absolute destitution and hunger. Besides, social grants have produced unforeseen outcomes. The article is based on existing work from various literature and confirmed to a degree by the author’s PhD empirical research conducted over three years in Graafwater and Khayelitsha Townships in Western Cape, South Africa. In interviews with 146 women in a purposive sample of 160, social grants as the main source of income mainly for women was a recurring theme.

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