● Expenditure on social grants accounted for 85% of the 2017 national budget (R180 billion) for social
protection. The majority of government’s social protection budget was allocated to old age and child
support grants; R64 billion and R56 billion respectively.
● Old age, disability and care dependency grants increased by 6%, from R1 510 per month in 2016, to
R1 600 in 2017. The child support grant rose by 9%, to R380 per month, and the foster care grant rose
by 3%, to R920 per month.
● In 2016, more South Africans (17 094 331) received social grants than had jobs (15 545 000). An
Institute of Race Relations survey showed that, compared to 2001, in 2016 the number of people
receiving grants had increased by 328%, while those with jobs increased by only 24%.
● The Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Quarter 2, 2017 showed that unemployment increased, from 27% in
Quarter 2: 2016, to 28% in the same period in 2017.
● According to the same survey, the 45 to 54-year and 55 to 64-year age groups consistently account
for the smallest unemployment rates, at 15% and 9% respectively in Quarter 2: 2017. The 15 to
24-year age group accounted for the largest unemployment rate, at 56% for the same period.
● Stats SA’s Poverty Trends in South Africa report, released in 2017, showed that, despite the general
decline in poverty between 2006 and 2011, poverty levels in South Africa rose in 2015. More than
half of South Africans (30.4 million) were poor in 2015. The figures are calculated using the upperbound
poverty line of R992 per person per month, based on 2015 prices.
● The Department of Home Affairs received more than one million asylum applications between 2005
● In 2016, according to Stats SA, 4.5% of South Africans aged five years and older were classified as
disabled. The Northern Cape had the highest prevalence of disability at 7% and the Western Cape
had the lowest prevalence at just under 4%.