Universal Social Protection: Universal social pensions in South Africa

South Africa has a long history as a welfare state and since the end of the apartheid era in 1994, the social protection system has played a crucial role in combatting poverty and inequality. It is also the first African country to have introduced a social pension for older persons. The Older Person’s Grant (OPG) is provided to all people above 60 years of age and varies between ZAR1,500 ($112) and ZAR1,520 ($114). It is estimated that the OPG along with other social grants bring down the high inequality in society from a GINI coefficient of 0.77 (without grants) to 0.60 (with grants) (OECD, 2015).