Department of Social Development
South Africa
Africa

Gradual extension of social security coverage to vulnerable children: The Child Support Grant in South Africa

Implementation year
1998

The Child Support Grant (CSG) is one of the social assistance programmes in South Africa established to address child poverty. Emerging from the apartheid regime, the democratic government introduced the CSG in 1998 to replace the racially based State Maintenance Grant (SMG), which had been in existence from the 1930s providing income protection to white families, excluding most black families and their children. The new grant removed the racially discriminatory features, which expanded the coverage to all eligible children.

Subject to a means-test threshold, the CSG was introduced at a value of 100 South African rands (ZAR) and has increased over the years to 480 ZAR as of January 2023. The grant has grown over the years with an increase in the age limit from 6 to 18 years old and just over
13 million children now receive it monthly. As from 1 June 2022, a new CSG top-up provision was implemented to provide an additional amount of 240 ZAR to assist relatives taking care of orphans, to provide for their basic needs and promote family preservation.

Topic:
Family benefits
Social assistance