‘Grant failure breaches constitution’
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.