Social Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu has revealed that more than 214 000 social grants were paid out to people who had died.
Another 59 000 people were paid the R350 social relief of distress (SRD) grant after they died in the last few months.
Zulu said the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) runs its data with the population register of the Department of Home Affairs to ensure that people paid social or SRD grants are the correct beneficiaries.
However, some of the deaths were reported late.
Zulu, who was replying to a written question in Parliament from Bridget Masango of the DA, said in some cases social grants payments were made after a person had died.