This paper reviews South Africa’s social protection policies and their implementation during the COVID-19 crisis. Overall, the government reached over 30 million South Africans with cash-based relief measures. A distinctive feature of cash-based emergency relief was the use of digital technologies, especially in the application and verification process for the new SRD grant. The payment system, however, relied heavily on manual cash disbursements, thus failing to reflect the adoption of innovative digital technologies observed in many other African countries.


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