A study championed by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, and Ilifa Labantwana, the Children’s Institute at the University of Cape Town has found that over three million SA Children are bedeviled by poverty.
The findings of the study disclosed that about 63 percent of young SA children live in poverty. It was precised that 3,969,000 young South African children live in poverty. And, that the rates are overwhelming in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo provinces where 78%, 75% and 74% of young children, respectively, live in poor households.
According to the study, the over three million SA Children soaked in poverty are exposed to physical, cognitive and emotional development dangers.
“Shortfalls in early childhood development are difficult to correct as time goes by. These children are always playing catch up and the education gap between them and their peers widens over time,” stated Sonja Giese, the executive director of Ilifa Labantwana at the launch of the study findings.
Giese divulged that the Child Support Grant (CSG) recorded the highest rate of growth of all social grants in South Africa. According to him, the grant is reaching almost 12 million children.
“The CSG…have a substantial developmental impact on children and their families living in poverty,” he said. “Our challenge now is to ensure that caregivers access the grant as soon as possible after the child is born, so as to ensure that the child is able to benefit when it matters most.”
Also, it was that poor households have a disproportionately large burden of care for young children. The study divulged.
“This includes situations where grandparents and other family members care for the children of parents who must migrate to find work…Almost a third of young children fall below the food poverty line… (and) many children under the age of 6 live in households where nobody is employed or engaged in income-generating activities.”