Most of SA's children in poverty - report

2011-03-24 19:04

Johannesburg - Two thirds of children in South Africa are still living in poverty, a Human Rights Commission workshop on children's rights heard on Thursday.

Poverty was one of the main problems facing children's rights, and government departments need to become more efficient to improve on this, Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Minister Lulama Xingwana said in Johannesburg.

Departments such as education, health and transport had to work together to help children. "We need to look at budgets and make sure a budget is allocated in each department for these issues."

There were disabled children who needed transport, some children did not have access to education because they were too poor, and then there was HIV and Aids.

Xingwana said she and Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi had signed an agreement to ensure more women were tested for HIV/Aids before they fell pregnant, to decrease mother-to-child HIV transmission.

Deputy HRC chairperson Pregs Govender said the Children's Act needed funding and the government needed to find the money. The government needed to deal with poverty before it could look at the "whole picture".

Xingwana said problems limiting children's rights needed to be addressed.

"We acknowledge the historical challenges that still limit progress in attainment of these rights. It is therefore important that at various intervals we look at the totality of these rights, review progress and outline measures that have to be taken to address various challenges limiting the realisation of these rights."

Xingwana said poverty tended to affect more women, children and disabled people, especially in rural areas.

Children had the right to an adequate standard of living, basic health, childhood development and education, Xingwana said.

All these areas had been recognised and researched in a report released by the HRC and Unicef on "Equity in the Realisation of Children's Rights in South Africa".

Growing disparity

Programmes to improve children's rights would be developed based on this and other reports.

"South Africa has passed a number of pieces of legislation and policies that protect and promote the rights of children. Our country is also a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which encompasses the package of rights that need to be enjoyed by all children of the world."

A full realisation of rights of children could only succeed through collaboration between the government, civil society, United Nations agencies and other development partners.

Unicef country representative Aida Girma said the reason the report was highlighting equity and child rights was because of the growing disparity between rich and poor.

"We need to make sure that we look at all the data and see where children are being left behind. In the global push to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, we are leaving behind millions of the world's most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalised children," she said.

The poorest of the poor were not receiving any benefits such as grants. This was either because they were not aware of them, they did not have the correct documentation, or did not have money for transport to get to where they could apply for them.

"We need to make sure they become a priority," Girma said.

  • Mr Hobbit - 2011-03-24 19:11

    Maybe people need to realise that if you can't afford one child, two or more will not help, either. Children always suffer for the foolishness of their parents.

      Francois - 2011-03-24 21:25

      Mr Hobbit, don't you think that this is rich coming from a government that endorses a leader that says "Breed to complete the revolution!" (No pun intended on the rich.) Fact is - the government wants the people to remain poor so that they can buy their vote for a bag of mealie meel or now, in the hard times, a packet of chips.

      Helen - 2011-03-27 20:52

      The children's grant from Government give them the permission to breed, more children more money....the parent's do not care about the children

      Digit - 2011-03-27 21:07

      ... And who do they have to thank ??? The ANC BANK !!!!! "Bankrupting agency" that is !!!! SA has gone from being the BEACON of Africa to the shadow we would rather ignore and if seen, we laugh at its ridiculous government and the people who continue to vote for these ANC idiots out of "liberation struggle loyalty" .... whatever ..... one disgrace after another in Africa .... whats new ?

      Flee - 2011-03-28 08:58

      I agree, most of these kids have unemployed uneducated parents, they live in a shack type domicile, with their 7 brothers and sisters and their unemployed alcoholic uncle and their two grannies... WTF if you can not afford to feed yourself, how the F*ck do you expect to feed a growing child... really this whole breeding for future wealth mentality must stop!!

  • maseratifitt - 2011-03-24 19:24

    Any government official's children living in poverty?

      Heks - 2011-03-27 20:23

      And they have so many!!!

  • Sentor - 2011-03-24 19:26

    I agree with Mr Hobbit and would add that it is horrifying how many women are deserted by their childs father as the men move on to the next women, next child and so on and on.

  • Skuinskoek - 2011-03-24 19:30

    Surely somewhere someone MUST realise that we need to work harder on controlling population growth - no job creation programme, poverty relief, or social upliftment can ever work at the current unsustainalbe growth.

      paul.viljoen.921 - 2012-10-11 06:48

      I challenge you to visit this page and tell me that some one is not seeing the negative effects of poverty and trying to change things

  • Slapper - 2011-03-24 19:39

    And stil they will vote ANC in droves, when the biggest sales of luxury cars in the country is to the ANC Fat cats. Do they care? No, not a chance.

  • Slapper - 2011-03-24 19:40

    Not so long ago, Julius was telling people that they must have more children? What a Dick.... or Dickless?

      gizzy - 2011-03-24 20:16

      he's an inkwekwe!

  • maseratifitt - 2011-03-24 19:42

    We know how many elephants can be sustained by the resources of a given habitat. So also for the frogs, butterflies, birds etc. We manage all these very scientifically. When it comes to human beings, however, we have no clue. There is only one answer to poverty and global warming : Population reduction and education.

      cerveza - 2011-03-25 06:15

      @maseratifitt - it is because culling (war) is not so popular these days

      maseratifitt - 2011-03-25 15:18

      cerveza: Understood, but there are many other options, none of which are pursued by governments, with the exception of China.

  • Pech? Africa - 2011-03-24 19:52

    What a dumb report!!! We know this, how much of our money was again waisted to compile this stupid report???

      Slapper - 2011-03-24 20:07

      Enough to half the amount of Children living in Poverty

  • Sage - 2011-03-24 20:01

    The rate at which certain segments of the population breed means that this "revelation" certainly doesn't come as a surprise. The majority of people who sustain this astonishing and rather indescriminate rate of reproduction don't have two blue beans to rub together so, yes, poverty is the logical consequence. If the authorities do things right they'll address the cause of the problem, not merely the consequences. The trends of the current regime suggest, however, that this will not be the case but rather a wishy washy nebulous approach with committees, enquiries and investigations will be the order of the day with no satisfactory conclusion and the problem will remain. Pathetic, the blame for this can be laid squarely at the door of the ruling nincompoops, the ANC!

  • gizzy - 2011-03-24 20:10

    And the breeding goes on! When are they going to tackle "have what you can afford"?

      darkwing - 2011-03-27 12:35

      That won't go down too well. The answer would be 'have no children'.

  • Macho Mike - 2011-03-24 22:26

    I take this report as a fantastic example of the success of the African National Circus, and all it's clowns.

  • Nicolouw - 2011-03-24 22:54

    What is the root cause of poverty? Yes, blame apartheid. Stop blaming others for the sins of the fathers and the mothers. You are hypnotized with "rights" in this country, in fact criminals have more rights than their victims. Its time the government realize you can achieve more by enabling people through training and education, as opposed to yet another hand out...

      paul.viljoen.921 - 2012-10-11 06:50

      Thank you sooooooo much for brain cells I bet we went to the same school. Get to the root of the problem empower the people to be able to look after themselves

  • mike - 2011-03-24 23:57

    What has the ANC done in nearly 17 years for the masses? Not much really!!

      k1dbl4ck - 2011-03-25 17:11

      WAIT... let's see here... they have: - Neglected just about every piece of infrastructure they where handed in perfect working order on a silver platter. - Squandered public funds on a R200 billion rand arms deal. With R200 billion you can build and equip 2000 schools. - Raised a generation of idiots who celebrate because they "passed" matric with 32%. - Instilled the pretense that besides practically building the modern world, the white man is wrong and is not worth employing. - Imports billions of rands in goods made by "those european colonists imperial bastards", whilst at the same time preaching this drivel from the comfort of their german (perhaps the throne of white supremacy) cars. - Have not bothered to develop self-discipline (the cornerstone of ethics) - Have not developed any sense of excellence. - And certainly have not instilled a sense of responsibility.

  • ji - 2011-03-25 07:44

    and who do we have to thank for this , THE USLESS GREEDY CORRUPT ANC and ANCYL

  • PB - 2011-03-25 08:17

    When my one employee became pregnant (again) I asked her why - "it is in their "culture" to prove that they can make a baby with a new man before he will marry her, regardless of how many she has had with other men". How F'ed up is that in this day and age. And then they come cry to me because they can't live on their salary because of the new baby's upkeep. I can't afford to sponsor each and every "culture" baby, I didn't make them, I am not responsible fir it.

      Flee - 2011-03-28 09:05

      PB... Ive seen this too, a lady at work who was battling to make ends meet, feed her two daughters and look after her elderly parents also fell pregnant. I asked her why... her response was she really wants a boy, and that maybe a boy would stop her boyfriend from cheating on her and keep him home (he has 4 other children by 3 women). AND also a son is more of an "asset" when it comes to her being aged and needing looking after.... WTF Really now.... She has a son, cant afford school for the two older ones, has no money to feed her parents and the man just made someone else pregnant... You go Girl!!!

  • LaDiDa - 2011-03-25 08:18

    Lets all make more childeren.... Mr Malema

      clintandmia - 2011-03-25 13:58

      Yes - Maybe the country can be run with someone with half a brain! give the apes a chance!

  • Michael - 2011-03-25 11:14

    People have too many children to begin with. Who suffers? the children of course. How can you say you love your children when you know you are poor and that you won't be able to feed and then go and have 5 more ???? Doesn't make any sense to me.

      paul.viljoen.921 - 2012-10-11 06:54

      This is also true as a matter of fact I spoke to a woman from Zimbabwe that says she has children in this country just to get child grants to live. How wrong is that relying on having kids to live.

  • clintandmia - 2011-03-25 13:57

    The poor are the last people the current government are interested in! How can JZ expect a 177m renovation on his home when his people are living in poverty! Go figure! Combatting the corruption within the current system could ease the poverty, but hay, who cares about the poor when you need to look after your own family and enjoy the nice big house and flash merc. Vote DA - They care!

  • Point Blank - 2011-03-25 15:44

    My domestic workers daughter is pregnant at 15... again.

  • Rita - 2011-03-25 15:53

    It is because people like Malema tells the masses to have more children even though they can't feed them. As long a a$$holes like that is in charge, kids will live in poverty. So go on breed some more, starve your children for Malema!!!!

  • maggielou - 2011-03-25 18:06

    Surprise?? Their parents earn the minimum breadline wages whilst the plebs in parliament and other 'rulers' milk the cream off the top! What is ZUMA'S entourage costing us? Realistic renumeration at the top with fairer pay at the bottom will go a long way in alleviating this ever increasing poverty.

  • Patience - 2011-03-25 21:19

    R3.82 B.I.L.L.I.O.N. WASTED IN 3 YEARS - SINCE 18 DEC 2007 when Zuma came to power UP UNTIL around JAN 2011 – AND NO SIGN OF STOPPING!!! Click on “Every Rand Lost” for a full breakdown. It is estimated that 70 000 (Seventy Thousand) RDP houses could have been buildt with this money. There is absolutely no point in developing programmes to improve children's rights - to implement them wil COST MONEY!! Jacob Zuma and his government's reckless spending spree is a sure indication that they have no regard whatsoever for the poor and struggeling masses.

  • Patience - 2011-03-25 21:44

    Since Jacob Zuma became president on 18 Dec 2007 approximately R4 399 322 482 has been WASTED. For a breakdown of the first R3.82 Billion wasted by this government go to the following link: Click on “Every Rand Lost” It is estimated that 70 000 (Seventy Thousand) RDP houses could have been buildt with the first R3.82 Billion this government has wasted. "Xingwana said problems limiting children's rights needed to be addressed." "We acknowledge the historical challenges that still limit progress in attainment of these rights" There can be NO historical challenges to speak of if the Zuma government can waste money at the speed it is currently doing. Zuma feels absolutely NOTHING for the poor struggeling masses! He needs to be replaced and soon!!

  • Hugh - 2011-03-25 23:56

    For all the so called poor and starving in this country I am yet to see anyone that died of hunger lifted from our streets. In India they pick up at least 100 - 200 a day in the cities.

      paul.viljoen.921 - 2012-10-11 06:57

      they wont tell us when it happens because it is not big news but let a celebrity die on our streets it is big news so get the facts straight there are many starving out there my friend.

  • GrannyC - 2011-03-26 06:46

    Motormouth Malema said the blacks should have more children, so I suggest you ask him for the money. Perhaps Aida Girma should start looking at who the so called 'rich' are nowadays, Government Officials and their cronies. Pregs Govender, if you need money the take the R115m that Zuma was going to use to revamp his house. Zuma's comment that 'Poverty levels are still too high' goodness that's rich coming from him so I am sure then that he won't mind if the R115m was given to the poor.

  • Thandi - 2011-03-26 13:39

    DON'T HAVE CHILDREN IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD THEM!!! DON'T HAVE CHILDREN IF YOU ARE HIV/AIDS!!!! GET STERILIZED!!!! THEN YOU CAN F.. (MESS) AROUND AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE!!!! This should be on all ANC manefestos. Big bill boards on all lamp posts!!!!

  • CDS - 2011-03-27 19:55

    The blood of these innocent dying children is on the hands of every ANC supporter. Simple.

  • Peter - 2011-03-28 06:48

    "We acknowledge the historical challenges that still limit progress in attainment of these rights..." A chief contributor to children living and staying in poverty in this country is that they refuse to learn but still demand to be promoted after each year. They refuse to acknowledge they too have a part to play in the alleviation of their plight.

  • Virginia - 2011-07-27 10:44

    This is whay I cannot undrstand why they are always calling for the youth og this country, why not the parents of these youths. The parents require jobs to look after their families, from the youth are taught to eventually look after themselves, exactly like we did. No body gave us handouts or found out whether we were poor or not, the majority people in this country are always under he impression that because you are white you escape all these problems, well think again people,you dont.I you are not born of rich or welloff parents then its up to you to make the most of you future.

  • paul.viljoen.921 - 2012-10-11 06:45

    I would like to know what is happening to the street children, is it not disturbing that if we do not help these kids on the streets of South Africa we will end up having to build more prisons to house all the criminals that will come from it. Lets rather educate these young people as much needed artisans or doctors or someone useful in society.

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