Child grant recipients face food insecurity

2011-09-07 18:01

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.

  • Hugh - 2011-09-07 18:20

    Bad bloody Luck I survive on that and pay for electricity as well as telephoneand I grow my own food. Anyone notice that traditional subsistance farming has all but dissapeared since the introduction of the child grant. Why grow chickens or food when the government supplies free money to buy from checkers.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-09-07 18:27

    Ask Robin Hoods -- juju & Jacob! They certainly have pilfered enough to support their own extended families and more..

  • PinkAndProud - 2011-09-07 18:36

    I also don't know where my next meal is coming from - I work for myself and don't qualify for a social grant. Spot the difference! Spot which one has got off their backsides!

  • THE.SRG - 2011-09-07 18:47

    Why the hell should i pay for other peoples kids?!!...i work hard just to survive and then i must pay tax for them...piss of and work harder to earn more

      THE.SRG - 2011-09-07 18:53

      i have no kids of my own because i understand the responsibility of having kids and how much they cost,when the time is right and i feel a can support a child i will decide if i want to have one,until then i dont feel i should pay for others kids,its that simple,dont have kids if you cant afford to feed them and you not willing to put the work in to feed them once you have had them

  • majordad.007 - 2011-09-07 18:54

    Parents who cannot support their kids (more than two) must have a involuntary snip. It will allow them to raise their kids better. The scourge of aids and TB exacerbates the issues of child led households. The grants are taken by adults and kids survive on the feeding scheme at school of 1 meal per day, while uncle/aunt/granny/grandad enjoys the fruits at the local shebeen, or the latest clobbers.

  • braamc - 2011-09-07 19:23

    It is sad to read this, knowing that the fat cat corrupt thieving ANC politicians feels jack about the people.

  • Winsome - 2011-09-07 19:24

    Fathers not paying maintenance for the children is an old story - one that I can share. I only hope Karma catches up with them as nothing else seems to.

  • Trevor - 2011-09-07 19:24

    So sick and tired of hearing this...ANC PROMOTES this bull by giving out welfare to woman who have kids, that is why school pregnancies are so high, have a baby sit @ home and get paid per parasite. Yep that is what they are, parasites. We cull animals to control population yet they have no choice in the matter, humans are WORSE, we have a CHOICE!! ANC wants to turn SA around, forget condoms, STOP GIVING OUT ARV'S!!!! Give FREE STERILISATIONS to all those dogs out there that can't keep their weenies in their pants!!!!!!!

      Moonshine - 2011-09-07 19:37

      And you are supposed to be a human. Shame on you!!!!

  • O'forth - 2011-09-07 19:30

    Would it not work to integrate food security with school activity? The report states that, regardless how bad their environment ¾ of the children still pass school. This shows great resilience. Larger bulk purchases would bring down the cost per plate and the State can control two central aspects of a child’s development, nutrition and education. Make a plate of food subject to children spending a certain amount of time after school to qualify for a meal for the family at government run food halls. Food can be sourced from anywhere but if it is supplied by government sponsored small farming activity this sector will receive a tax payer incentive effectively distributing wealth. A second terrier of education can be created incorporating the National youth development programs of the government as an extension of community activity and not a distant objective. In this way a standardized input by citizens will result in an understandable improvement of the wellbeing of people. Children will get off the streets and into a stimulating education environment, jobs will be created and the State will fulfill its the Constitutional obligation of providing everyone an equal opportunity of development, provide children with security and so stabilize a future generation. The youth, by making them self available for development secure their own future while their sacrifice improve the lives of adults.

  • E - 2011-09-07 19:35

    Ja well... Our Tunisia moment is coming when all these "paid for kids" wont be able to get an education nor a job.

  • JudithNkwe - 2011-09-07 19:48

    More food gardens need to be established in the schools and the parents encouraged to participate. This solution works and is sustainable. It also teaches children about self sufficiency

  • roodbol - 2012-01-18 16:00

    Just LOVE all your comments. Sick of having to do my daily work with all those begging hands reaching out to me. We have to work for money to get by in life. Stop having kids, marry ONE wife, have TWO kids and see the difference! You bring poverty upon yourself and the kids suffer. They did not ask to be born....but they'll continue the same cycle and pattern they have come to know - this is truly a typical African lifestyle. Check the rest of Africa. Kids have kids.

  • robert.ferreiro - 2012-01-18 16:03

    We are failing our children again..we need to help where we are able..AUDIT..and help more where it is needed..good school marks...attendance school extra help

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