Child grant recipients face food insecurity
Johannesburg - Three-quarters of families getting child support grants in one of Johannesburg's poorest areas, often do not know where their next meal will come from, a new study has shown.
Released on Wednesday, the survey was conducted among people receiving such grants in Doornkop, Soweto,
These families face moderate to severe food insecurity, the University of Johannesburg's Centre for Social Development in Africa found.
Eighty-five percent of households surveyed survived on less than R2 500 per month.
The research was based on a survey of 343 households with children aged below 15 years.
Most of these received one or two support grants, of R250 in 2010. Seven percent of respondents were teenagers. "It is nevertheless a vital supplementary, and a regular source of household income, which is crucial in alleviating poverty," said researcher Tessa Hochfeld.
Almost all children in these families attended school, and three-quarters had not failed a school year.
An issue that emerged in the research was that a third of fathers who did not live with their families stopped paying maintenance when the family started receiving grants.
"The maintenance system continues to fail South Africa's children, which impacts on child poverty," said Professor Leila Patel.
A quarter of those surveyed believed the grants encouraged teenage pregnancy, although there was no research evidence to support this perception.