Which eligible households get grants? Demographic correlates of receipt in South Africa

Erin B. Godfrey, Nia D. Gordon, Lucia C. Knight, J. Lawrence Aber, La Rue Allen, Linda Richter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since Apartheid, the South African government transformed and expanded the social grants system to improve the well-being of its vulnerable populations. Despite increased efforts, a sub-section of the grant-eligible population is not reached. Too little is known about the factors that contribute to grant receipt, especially for the household as a whole. This article examines the household and community characteristics associated with grant receipt among poor households in KwaZulu-Natal. We add to previous work by assessing grant receipt at the household level, examining receipt of the two major grants and analysing correlates in a multivariate framework. While associations with grant receipt are complex and varied, we find higher grant receipt (especially the Child Support Grant) among more disadvantaged households. We also find that characteristics across multiple domains are needed to best distinguish household grant receipt. We discuss theoretical implications for models of grant receipt and practical implications for improving grant access.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)774-789
Number of pages16
JournalDevelopment Southern Africa
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Social grants
  • demographic correlates
  • grant receipt
  • households
  • poverty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Development


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