This is an overview of poverty and well-being in the first decade of post-apartheid South Africa. It is an introduction to a volume that brings together some of the most prominent academic research done on this topic for the 10-year review process in South Africa. This overview highlights three key aspects of the picture that the detailed research paints. First, data quality and comparability has been a constant issue in arriving at a consensus among analysts on the outcomes for households and individuals in post-apartheid South Africa. Second, while the outcomes on unemployment, poverty and inequality are indeed bad, the outcomes on social indicators and access to public services are much more encouraging. Third, the prospects for rapid and sustained economic growth, without which poverty and well-being cannot be addressed in the long run, are themselves negatively affected by increasing inequality, poverty and unemployment.