Social Security Take-Up and The Mean Test in South Africa

Socio-economic development in South Africa is severely constrained by high rates of poverty and unemployment. The current social security system aims to reduce poverty and unemployment through various grants. The largest social security grants (in terms of number of beneficiaries) are the State Old Age Pension (SOAP), the Disability Grant (DG), and the Child Support Grant (CSG). Selection of beneficiaries eligible for the grants is based on the means test. The means test is the central factor distinguishing the Basic Income Grant from other forms of social security. The application of the means test and other eligibility criteria influences the rate of take-up of existing programmes. The rate of take-up is a measure of the effectiveness of a social security system.