Understanding CTs in Africa: A basic typology

South African grant example

South Africa’s grant system

The extensive coverage of South Africa’s grant system provides an illustration of the cash grants systems often present in upper-middle income countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. The South African system includes an Old Age Pension, Disability Grant, Care Dependency Grant, Foster Care Grant, and Child Support Grant. Other less prominent grants in the system include the Grant for Carers of the Aged, War Veterans Grant, and Social Relief of Distress. Together, this system provides cash grants to over 13 million of South Africa’s most vulnerable individuals. The grants reach a significant portion of the population, either directly or indirectly. For the 2007-2008 year, it cost 3.2% of South Africa’s GDP. Specific information about the major grants is provided in the following table.
Name Year Started Eligible Population Coverage Transfer Size
Old Age Pension 1928 Elderly (Women over 60 and men over 65 who pass means and asset test) 2.4 million/5 % of all South Africans (80% of the elderly) US$ 112 monthly
Disability Grant 1946 People living with disabilities who pass a means and asset test 1.3 million/3% of all South Africans US$ 112 monthly
Care Dependency Grant Not available Children up to age 18 with disabilities who do not live in an institution and whose household passes a means test 107,000 US$ 117 monthly
Foster Care Grant Not available State-approved foster parents of OVC up to age 18, child must pass a means test 484,000 US$ 76 monthly
Child Support Grant 1998 (replaced State Maintenance Grant) Children through age 14 who live in households that pass a means test 8.8 million (70% of children) US$ 27 monthly
Sources: European University Institute (2010), Plaatjies (2006), Social Security Administration (2009), South African Social Security Agency (2009), South African Government Services (2009), Streak (2007) Notes: Transfer size and coverage is current as of April 2009. 3.2% of GDP cost was for 2007/2008. Information about Grant for Carers of the Aged, War Veterans Grant, and Social Relief of Distress not shown.