social grants

The potential of social grants expenditure to promote local economic development and job creation

South Africa’s publicly funded social safety net, which consists of multiple conditional cash grants, has expanded considerably since a child support grant was added to the old age pensions and disability grants in 2002. Jacobs et al draw together local and global evidence on the developmental potential of social grants, including a typology of social…


Policy Options to Leverage the System of Social Grants for Improved Access to Economic Opportunity

The distribution of social grants in South Africa expanded considerably between 2001 and 2007. However, in a context of high unemployment, there is concern that unemployed household members depend on grants that are meant to target children, the aged or disabled. Thus grants are spread thinly, dramatically reducing their contribution to the intended beneficiaries. Moreover,…


Towards identifying the causes of South Africa’s street homelessness: Some policy recommendations

The Human Sciences Research Council’s four-year study of street homelessness in South Africa highlights the way unemployment stresses poor households and sets in motion processes of exclusion, and suggests that the social wage safety net is not protecting the street homeless. Although subsidised housing and social grants seem to head off homelessness in many cases,…