Social grants second-most important source of income in SA – Stats SA

Over 17 million South Africans rely on social welfare grants from the state.

Picture: @OfficialSASSA/Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - Social grants remain the second-most important source of income for households in the country after salaries.

Statistics South Africa released the results of its General Household Survey earlier on Tuesday. The survey was conducted in more than 20,000 households.

According to the results, 45.2% of households depend on social grants and 64.8% of households receive salaries from various forms of employment, including remittances, income from businesses and pension.

Over 17 million South Africans, one in five, rely on social welfare grants from the state, said Stats SA.

Spending on social protection is expected to increase from R193 billion this financial year to R224 billion by 2021.

The General Household Survey assessed 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 services sectors, including health, education and social security.


While the weeks leading to the general elections saw protests erupt in municipalities around the country as residents demanded improved service delivery, Stats SA said, collectively, access to water, sanitation, electricity and refuse removal had improved since 2002 by between 8% and 22%.

The highest increase was access to sanitation, up from 61% to 83.7% of households. However, more than half a million households still use substandard sanitation, including the 170,000 households that still use bucket toilets.

It also found that access to electricity had increased by 8% and that despite the woes facing Eskom leading to incessant load shedding, 65% of households said they were satisfied with the quality of electricity services.

Stats SA said, looking at the results, the absence of parents in their children’s lives was evident in how late they finish school.