Social and Community Development: National Context

  • Government’s spend on social development increased from R235 billion in 2017 to R259 billion in 2018, constituting 15% of the total national budget. The majority of the social development budget was allocated to old age grants (R70 billion), social security funds (R66 billion) and child support grants (R60 billion).

  • The old age, disability and child support dependency grants increased from R1 600 per month in 2017, to R1 700 in 2018. The child support grant increased from R380 to R410 per month.

  • Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) 2017 data showed that 16.5 million people out of the 51.8 million total population were recipients of social assistance grants.


  • According to South African Child Gauge 2017, of the 18.6 million children in South Africa in 2015, 17% were orphans who had lost their mothers, fathers, or both parents; 21% did not live with either of their biological parents, and 0.3% lived in child-only households. The report suggests that livelihood strategies, such as leaving teenage boys to look after a rural homestead while parents migrate to work, contribute to these numbers.


  • Stats SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey, Quarter 2, 2018 found that unemployment rose by half a percentage point from the first to second quarters, to 27%, or 6.1 million people.