In SA, social grants address key social determinants of health such as food insecurity, access to health services, income and early childhood development. About 17-million South Africans receive social grants every month. Of these, about 12-million are children in receipt of the child support grant. For many households, the child support grant and the old age grant are the only forms of predictable income that they rely on. While many in the medical profession — as well as beneficiaries — have long bemoaned the inadequacy of the child support grant to meet even the most basic needs of its beneficiaries, such as adequate nutrition, there has never been any doubt that it is indispensable to millions of households across the country. The government has allocated R151.6bn to social grants in its 2017-18 budget. There are four main grants that are disbursed under the system: an old age grant for pensioners over the age of 60 of R1,600 and for those over 75 a grant of R1,620; a disability...

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