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Efficiency and equity effects of social grants in South Africa

Servaas van der Berg, Franz Siebrits () and Bongisa Lekezwa

No 15/2010, Working Papers from Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics

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 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H31 H53 I38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-afr
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