‘Grant fail­ure breaches con­sti­tu­tion’

Cape Times - - WORLD NEWS - Noni Mokati

SO­CIAL De­vel­op­ment ex­perts warn that fail­ure by gov­ern­ment to de­liver child sup­port grants in­fringes on chil­dren’s con­sti­tu­tional rights.

“In­come sup­port is cru­cial and should not be com­pro­mised by gov­ern­ment’s fail­ure to de­liver Child Sup­port grant. If this hap­pens, it will have dire con­se­quences on child nu­tri­tion and health,” Pro­fes­sor Leila Patelm from the Univer­sity of Jo­han­nes­burg’s Cen­tre for So­cial De­vel­op­ment in Africa, said yes­ter­day.

Pa­tel was speak­ing at the re­lease of a new re­port con­ducted by UJ in con­junc­tion with the uni­ver­si­ties of Chicago and Utrecht, as well as the Depart­ment of Planning, Mon­i­tor­ing, and Eval­u­a­tion and the Pro­gramme to Sup­port Pro-Poor Pol­icy De­vel­op­ment (PSPPD).

The study, which comes days be­fore World Chil­dren’s Day on Novem­ber 20 and al­most 10 months since Sassa faced a de­ba­cle over grant pay­ments, looks at the im­pact child grants have had on the well-be­ing of the coun­try’s young chil­dren.

It also highlights the role gov­ern­ment plays in supporting fam­i­lies of these chil­dren.

Themed: “Fam­ily con­texts, child sup­port grants and child well-be­ing in South Africa” re­searchers sam­pled up to 3 132 chil­dren un­der the age of eight who lived with their rel­a­tives in Doornkop, Soweto, and Moutse in the Sekhukhune District, Lim­popo.

Quan­ti­ta­tive data used in­cluded na­tional sta­tis­ti­cal data and in­for­ma­tion from the Na­tional In­come Dy­namic Sur­vey of 2008.

Read­ing the out­comes of the study UJ Pro­fes­sor for So­cial De­vel­op­ment Stud­ies Leila Pa­tel said the aim of the re­port was cast fo­cus on how Child Sup­port Grants (CSGs) can be im­proved.

“What we wanted to do was to build on strength of CSG and poverty re­duc­tion,” she said.

She added the PSPPD had called for pro­pos­als around child grants to be made, adding the cen­tre de­cided to pitch their re­port on fam­i­lies.

“Our re­search flows di­rectly from past re­search.

“Al­though the CSG is do­ing so well, we ar­gue it is not enough. It is not suf­fi­cient to ad­dress mul­ti­fac­eted needs chil­dren have,” she said.

It is thought that up to 12 mil­lion re­ceive R380 on child sup­port grant money ev­ery month.

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