Authors: H G van Dijk & N Mokgala

Keyword: poverty, social grant, social protection, South Africa

SDG: SDG1

Agenda 2063: A1

Since the first fully democratic elections in 1994, poverty alleviation has been a central issue for the South African government (May 2010:4). Poverty in South Africa can be largely attributed to the extreme inequalities of the past. It has been addressed through a number of developmental initiatives; for example, the government has implemented social grants to help to eradicate poverty. This article investigates how the administration of one of these social grants, the Old Age Grant, influences the livelihoods of the intended beneficiaries in the Kgautswane rural community in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Unless a policy is implemented effectively, efficiently and ethically, it is of little use to those meant to benefit from it. Social welfare is essential for South Africa as a developmental state, but it requires a concerted effort by government to ensure the appropriate administration of this system to benefit particularly the rural poor. When the beneficiaries remain dependent on the system for their continued livelihood, only effective, efficient and ethical administration of the system will contribute to the development of a state capable of sustaining the social contract with its citizens.