LOCAL GOVERNMENT: Construction Of a Welfare State in Progress
Recent Gauteng Business News
The number of social-grant beneficiaries has increased by more than 300% in the past nine years, according to the South African Institute of Race Relations.
In the 2009/10 financial year there were nearly 14 million social grant beneficiaries in South Africa. The child-support grant made up the highest share, with over nine million beneficiaries. The old-age grant was second highest, with over two million beneficiaries. This is according to the latest South Africa Survey, published by the Institute in Johannesburg.
The National Treasury projects that by 2011/12 there will be 16 million social grant beneficiaries. Of these, more than ten million will be child-support grant beneficiaries. Social grants are arguably a buffer against poverty for millions of poor South Africans, with 30% of the 49.9 million population now receiving such grants.
In 2009, 28% of the population was receiving some form of social grant. Women accounted for 53% of grant beneficiaries. Africans accounted for 89%. KwaZulu-Natal is the province with the highest proportion of social grant beneficiaries, even higher than the national average of 33%.
Nachi Majoe, a member of the Institute’s research team, said ‘South Africa is becoming a welfare state; the number of social grant beneficiaries is on a constant rise. Grants risk creating a dependency syndrome.’
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