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Social Grants in South Africa

Briefing/policy papers

South Africa’s social security system is the government’s chief initiative in tackling inequality in South Afria. It has two main objectives. The first is to immediately reduce poverty among groups who are not expected to participate fully in the labour market, and therefore vulnerable to low income: the eldely, those with disabilities, and children. The second objective is to increase investment in health, education and nutrition, so as to increase economic growth and development. These twin objectives are reflected in the Government’s 1997 White Paper on Social Development, which states that “a social security system is essential for healthy economic development, particularly in a rapidly changing economy, and will contribute actively to the development process. It is important for immediate alleviation of poverty and is a mechanism for active redistribution.”

Dr. Michael Samson, Mr. Kenneth MacQuene, and Ms. Ingrid