Social grants have become the main source of income for a lot of households in South Africa. According to a recent report from Stats SA, 29.8% of the Northern Cape’s population receive social grants, of which some households receive more than one. The number of individuals benefiting from social grants has consistently increased from 28% in 2003 to 31% in 2018 and the percentage of households that received at least one social grant each increased from 30.8% in 2003 to 44.3% in 2018.
More than a quarter of black African individuals (33.9%) receive social grants. 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 31% of individuals and 44.3% of households nationally. The grants have proved to be more prevalent than salaries as a source of income.
The highest percentage of grant recipients is in the Eastern Cape, where 59% of households are receiving at least one grant. Next in line is the Northern Cape at 57.4%, followed by the Free State at 50.7%. Though the report did not state which grants were being received, social grants in South Africa include old age pensions, child support grants, care dependency grants, grants in aid, war veteran grants, foster child grants and disability grants.
The report states that the number of people that experience hunger decreased from 29.3% in 2002 to 11.3% in 2018. Inadequate or severely inadequate access to food were common in the Northern Cape by 32.3%.