Efficiency and Equity Effects of Social Grants in South Africa

Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers No. 15/10

58 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010

See all articles by Servaas van der Berg

Servaas van der Berg

Stellenbosch University

Franz Krige Siebrits

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Bongisa Lekezwa

South African Competition Commission

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

This paper discusses the nature and effects of social grants programmes in South Africa against the backdrop of international trends in the reform of social assistance systems. It shows that South Africa has a well-developed social assistance system that significantly reduces extreme poverty, in part because the grants are very well targeted. The review of existing literature and new evidence presented in this paper suggest that the grants influence the behaviour of recipients and potential recipients in various ways, not all of which are necessarily benign. The paper also highlights the scope for further research on the potential of workfare programmes, conditional cash transfer programmes and other innovative social assistance schemes in the South African context.

Keywords: Social security, social grants, social pensions, child support grants, effects of social assistance, South Africa

JEL Classification: H31, H53, I38

Suggested Citation

Van der Berg, Servaas and Siebrits, Franz Krige and Lekezwa, Bongisa, Efficiency and Equity Effects of Social Grants in South Africa (2010). Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers No. 15/10. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1727643 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1727643

Servaas Van der Berg

Stellenbosch University ( email )

Private Bag X1
Stellenbosch, Western Cape 7602
South Africa

Franz Krige Siebrits (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Bongisa Lekezwa

South African Competition Commission ( email )

Pretoria East, Tshwane
South Africa

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