Existing studies on shifts in income welfare in South Africa since the demise of apartheid suggest that income inequality increased, while headcount poverty rates declined since 2000, after some evidence of an increase or no change in poverty in the 1995–2000 and 1996–2001 periods. This study provides an analysis of the shifts in non-income welfare that have occurred in South Africa between 1993 and 2004. We use factor analysis to construct an asset index as a measure of non-income-based welfare. Variables reflecting household access to a range of services and assets are used in the construction of the index. Significantly different results emerge when non-income welfare shifts are considered: we show statistically significant decreases in the headcount asset poverty rates between 1993 and 2004 across a range of covariates. Finally, asset inequality decreased significantly between 1993 and 2004 – in stark contrast to results based on consumption data.