South Africa has very high rates of child poverty, and children are disproportionately represented in poor households. In 2021, nearly 13 million children lived on less than R1335 per month (the 'upper poverty' line).
South Africa has high rates of unemployment which increased in lockdown. In 2021, 34% of children lived in households where nobody was employed. These households depend entirely on grants and remittances.
The child support grant is an unconditional cash grant paid to the caregivers of eligible children. It is the biggest of all grants in distribution numbers, and reaches nearly 13 million children each month.
Foster child grants are designed to support children who are in the child protection system. Most of them go to orphaned children living with family but the numbers are reducing as more children received the CSG top-up.
The Care Dependency Grant is a non-contributory monthly cash transfer to caregivers of children with severe disabilities who require permanent care. It is worth R2080 per month in 2023.