Social grants remain the second-most important source of income for households in the country after salaries.
Statistics South Africa released the results of its general household survey earlier on Tuesday.
According to the results, 64.8% of households receive salaries from various forms of employment and 45.2% of households depend on social grants.
Over 17 million South Africans, one in five, rely on social welfare grants from the state, said Stats SA.
Spending on social protection is expected to increase from R193 billion this financial year to R224 billion by 2021.
The General Household Survey assessed the levels of development in the country as well as the extent of service delivery and the quality of services in a number of key services sectors, including health, education and social security.