‘Half the population receive SASSA grants in 2024’ – Stats SA

According to Stats SA’s General Household Survey, the number of people who receive SASSA grants in 2024 is significantly higher than many had realised. According to Business Tech, reporting on the Stats SA survey, 24-million people receive SASSA grants in 2024. This is higher than the number long believed to be closer to 20 million.  


Has the African National Congress over-capitalised on SASSA grants in the last 20 years through its pro-poor policies? Image: File

More significantly, perhaps, is the fact the Stats SA says, in terms of pure households, 50% in the country receive at least one social grant. And the vast majority of these are in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo. Moreover, the African National Congress (ANC) has so ingrained its ‘pro-poor’ policies over the last 20 years that the numbers are either pretty remarkable – or scary – depending on which side of the fence you sit.

In 2003, 13% of the population was on government grants. Now, 40% of the population receive SASSA grants in 2024. Or one out of every two households, as mentioned. The South African Social Security Agency saw numbers climb steadily between 2003 and 2017, at 12.8%. This then shot up to 31% by 2019. Followed by the post-COVID-19 spike to the current 39.4%.


SASSA grants per household were at their highest in 2024 during the COVID-19 pandemic. Image: File

Instead of pure numbers, Stats SA also tracked the percentage of South African households that received at least one social grant. Interestingly, this has increased relatively consistently, spiking in 2020 during the pandemic to 52.4%, but now settling at 50%:

30.8% in 2003

45.5% in 2019

52.4% in 2020

50.0% in 2023

Worryingly, for the vast majority of residents who receive SASSA grants in 2024, it is their one and only source of income (23%). However, we’d take this stat with a pinch of salt considering South Africa’s approximately 7-million-strong informal economy workforce who don’t pay tax.


For nearly one quarter of government grant recipients, the stipend is their only source of income. Image: File

Here’s how the 24-million SASSA grant beneficiaries break down per province (from most to least):  

Eastern Cape – 52.9%

Limpopo – 50.4%

Gauteng – 26.9%

Western Cape – 24.4%

Here are the percentages of households receiving SASSA grants per province (from most to least):

Eastern Cape – 64.9%

Free State – 63.9%

Western Cape – 38.6%

Gauteng – 36.6%

What do you think about the fact that half the population receive SASSA grants in 2024? Be sure to share your thoughts with our audience in the comments section below. And don’t forget to follow us @TheSANews on X and The South African on Facebook for the latest updates. Click the links below to read trending stories in the last 24 hours on our website …

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