Social Security

Pension Rights

Law provides for means tested old age grant for a permanent resident of South Africa aged 60 and over. A worker is entitled to old age grant (means-tested) if his/her annual income is below a certain amount. The old age pension  is 1,600 Rand for pensioners aged 60-74 and 1,620 Rand for pensioners aged 75 or older. If the pensioner resides in a care facility under contract to the state for more than three months, the pension is reduced to 25% of the maximum amount.

Constant attendance allowance of 380 rand per month is also paid if the person receiving the old age grant requires the constant attendance of others to perform daily functions.

sources: §10 of the Social Assistance Act 13 of 2004 (last amended in 2010); ISSA Country Profile for South Africa, 2017

Dependents' / Survivors' Benefit

Survivors' benefits are payable to workers as provided under the Unemployment Insurance Act. The employee must have accumulated credits at the time of death. One credit (one day of paid leave) is earned for every five completed days of employment, and up to 365 days of paid leave may be accumulated in the four years before application for the survivor benefit. The accumulated credits may be used for sickness, adoption, unemployment, and survivor benefits. On the death of a worker, the spouse or life partner can claim dependant's benefits. The dependent children can also claim this benefit if there is no spouse or life partner or if the spouse or life partner does not claim the benefit within 18 months of the worker's death (or even later on showing the just cause).

38% to 60% of the deceased's daily earnings, depending on the level of earnings, is paid for up to 365 days. Any credits used for sickness, adoption, and unemployment is deducted from this payment. Lower-income insured persons receive a higher percentage of their earnings and higher-income receive a lower percentage.

Daily earnings are calculated by multiplying the deceased worker's last monthly earnings by 12 (or last weekly earnings by 52), and then dividing by 365. If the deceased's earnings fluctuated significantly, the calculation is based on the deceased's average monthly earnings for the six months before the date of death.

Source: §14 & 30-36 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (last amended in 2017); ISSA Country Profile for South Africa, 2017

Invalidity Benefit

The above laws provide for invalidity benefit in the case of non-occupational accident/injury/disease resulting into permanent invalidity. If a citizen or permanent resident aged 18-59 years is assessed with temporary disability for more than six months, that person is entitled to the means tested disability benefit of up to 1,620 rand per month. The benefit is considered permanent if a citizen is assessed as medically disabled for more than 12 months.

Constant-attendance allowance of 380 rand per month is paid to the person receiving the disability grant requires the constant attendance of others to perform daily functions.

Source: §9 of the Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001 (last amended in 2003); ISSA Country Profile for South Africa, 2017

Regulations on Social Security

  • Unemployment Insurance Act, 2001
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