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Get kids out of poverty

UNICEF/South Africa/Rheeder
© UNICEF/South Africa/Rheeder

Fact: 11 million children live in poverty.

Child support grants

When poverty strikes a family, the youngest members become its immediate victims. Poverty denies children their right to education, healthcare, proper nutrition, safe water and sanitation. Poverty is inherited. Poor children are likely to pass poverty onto the next generation, perpetuating the poverty cycle.

In South Africa, the child support grant has been praised as one of the country’s major contributions to reducing child poverty. The monthly grant of R190 gives income support for children between the ages of birth and 14 whose parents or caregivers earn below the minimum wage of R1,200 a month.

UNICEF works with the Government to expand the reach of the child support grant so that many more children can be lifted out of poverty.

Take Note

  • 7,2 million children benefit from the child support grant.
  • Children between the age of 15 and 17 are not eligible for the child support grant, leaving them without a safety net.
  • Two million children live in backyard shacks in townships, with poor sanitation, water and other basic services.
  • 4,5 million children live in overcrowded homes, with risks for sexual abuse.

Take Action

Help us improve the child support grant. UNICEF has formed an exciting partnership with the Department of Social Development’s Social Security Branch and the South African Social Security Agency, responsible for the management and payment of social grants. This provides us with a unique opportunity to help the Government improve its social protection system for children. As a first step, UNICEF is supporting a study that looks at how and whether the child support grant has had a positive impact on a child’s life. This will help us understand how families use the grant and how it can be improved.

Help us help more children benefit from a child support grant. President Thabo Mbeki pledged in his State of the Nation speech to identify ways of reaching out to older children. UNICEF’s intervention cannot be more timely. We are commissioning a second study to look at why some children fall through the cracks of the grant system and why others, who are not eligible, receive the grant.

You Can Make A Difference

Our goal is to make the child support grant system more efficient and to increase the number of children who benefit from South Africa’s investment in social security. Your gift to UNICEF would be a valuable contribution towards reducing child poverty.

  • A gift of R150,000 can help us fund the first study and contribute to improving the child support grant.
  • A gift of R150,000 can help us complete the second study and expand the reach of the child support grant.

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