This study aimed to investigate the incentive/disincentive impacts of social grants on the proportion of land area cultivated by rural households. The study relied on a sample of 984 households from KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. The results showed no association between social grants and proportion of land area cultivated by farmers. This has two implications. Firstly, it suggests that the disincentive hypothesis should not be accepted. Secondly, it implies that the potential complementarity between social grants and smallholder farming has not materialised. Given that social grants are now seen as strategies to promote rural livelihoods in South Africa, the study recommends that the objectives of social grants and smallholder farming be synchronised so that the potential complementarity between the two interventions may materialise. The study identified several other constraints that policy makers should focus on to increase the proportion of land area cultivated by smallholder farmers.