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Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
29 May 2019
11:03 am

Social grants remain a vital safety net – Stats SA

Makhosandile Zulu

The agency says this makes social grants the second-most important source of income for households after salaries.

File image.

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has found that social grants remain a vital safety net, particularly in the poorest provinces, making social grants the second-most important source of income (45.2%) for households after salaries (64.8%).

Stats SA further said grants are the main source of income for almost one-fifth (19.9%) of households across the country.

The statistics agency revealed this in its results of the General Household Survey (GHS) 2018 which the statistician-general of South Africa, Risenga Maluleka, released on Tuesday, May 28.

The report, amongst others, provides a sense of how far South Africa has progressed over the past 17 years. It outlines some achievements and challenges during this period and identifies breaches and disparities in the level of development in the country.

“The GHS aims to assess the levels of development in the country as well as the extent of service delivery and the quality of services in a number of key service sectors, including health, social security, housing, energy, access to and use of water and sanitation, environment, refuse removal, telecommunications, transport, household income, access to food and agriculture.”

Stats SA said the percentage of households and persons who benefitted from a social grant have increased since 2002.

“While 31% of persons benefitted from a grant in 2018, 44.3% of households received one or more grants. ”

In the Eastern Cape, 59.9% of households received grants as a source of income compared to 52.6% that received salaries, in Limpopo 57.9% of households received grants compared to 51.3% that received salaries.

Graph: Stats SA

“Grants were particularly important as a main source of income for households in Eastern Cape (35%), Limpopo (30.4%), and Northern Cape (29.8%).”

The report also showed that the percentage of individuals that benefited from social grants consistently increased from 12.8% in 2003 to 31% in 2018 and that the percentage of households that received at least one social grant increased from 30.8% in 2003 to 44.3% in 2018.

“More than one-third of black African individuals (33.9%) received a social grant, compared to 29.9% of coloured individuals, and 12.5% of Indian/Asian individuals. By comparison, only 7.5% of the white population received grants.”

Graph: Stats SA

The report showed that 21.3% of all individuals and 34% of all households in metropolitan areas received some kind of social grant, compared to 310% of individuals and 44.3% of households nationally.

“Large differences are noted between cities. Nearly three-tenths of individuals in Buffalo City (30.6%) and Nelson Mandela Bay (28.6%) benefitted from social grants, compared to less than one-fifth in Ekurhuleni and city of Cape Town (both 19.2%), city of Tshwane (18.9%), and city of Johannesburg (18.7%).”

For households at a metropolitan level, the report showed that the reception of one or more social grants was most common for households in Buffalo City (47.9%) and Nelson Mandela Bay (45.4%) and least common in Tshwane (27.5%) and the city of Johannesburg (29%).

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