Cash transfer programmes, poverty reduction and empowerment of women in South Africa

This country study of cash transfer programmes, poverty reduction and economic empowerment of women in South Africa forms part of a comparative analysis funded by the International Labour Organization (ILO); the other countries are Brazil, Chile, India, and Mexico. Through these five case studies and the comparison among them, the ILO aims to develop recommendations to promote the economic empowerment of women through social protection and strengthen the gender dimension in debates on the social protection floor.

In this South African case study, the overview of cash transfer programmes, strategic measures to reduce women’s poverty and facilitate economic empowerment, and inter-linkages between social grants and other policies is drawn from national policy documents, national statistics sources, policy analyses and evaluation reports, and peer-reviewed literature. A survey of the impacts of cash transfer programmes in South Africa, with particular reference to gender and employment, was conducted following a systematic search of academic databases (Google Scholar, Eldis, Web of Science, World Bank) and South African institutions’ websites (Human Sciences Research Council, Wahenga, Finmark, Centre for Social Development in Africa, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, Economic Policy Research Institute).