The South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) grants social grants to categories of people who are vulnerable to poverty and in need of state support. These are older people, people with disabilities and children. The social grants get paid out from the first of each month.
The grants get deposited each month into the beneficiaries’ bank account where they can then access it in supermarkets and ATMs, whilst other beneficiaries receive their money from cash vans and community halls.
Sassa is part of a well-established welfare system in South Africa (SA) and a large proportion of social spending goes towards social grants. Social Grants are in place to improve standards of living and redistribute wealth to create a more equitable society.
Sections 24 through 29 of the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution recognise the socio-economic rights of citizens, including the right to social security. The government is obligated to progressively realise these rights. This means that the state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realisation of the right.
Applicants for social grants must be South African citizens, permanent residents or refugees and currently living in SA.
Except for the Foster Child Grant and the Grant in Aid, social grants in SA are currently “means tested”. The means test is the process of assessing the value of your assets and income. You’ll only be eligible for a grant if your income and assets fall below a certain threshold. This threshold is different for all the grants and will depend on whether or not you’re married.