Children, Social Assistance and Food Security
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The Child Support Grant (CSG) in South Africa, which is the smallest of all the grants, is currently R460 per month after being increased from R450 in April 2021. This grant needs to cover many basic needs for a child – not least nutrition. However, the reality is that the grant is primarily used to buy food; food that is insufficient in quantity and quality to contribute to adequate nutrition. The grant for each child is paid out to a designated caregiver, who manages the funds on a child’s behalf. Based on the understanding that even though poverty and hunger are economic issues, they are also deeply social and psychological, this study is grounded on twelve case studies in which caregivers of children on CSGs were interviewed in depth about the ways in which the cash transfer is managed by households in terms of food and other basic needs.