Social development strengthen efforts to combat child poverty
28 Jul 2010
The report by Social Development on child poverty shows that there is dire need for Eastern Cape government to work together in the fight against child poverty in the province.
In November 2008, Social Development held a summit on child poverty, where international activists from University of Oxford in London, United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and University of Cape Town, all experts on child poverty, were present. There was a strong recommendation that there is a need for child focused analysis, emanating from the deleberations of that summit.
Social Development then hired Fort Hare to conduct a research on the status of child poverty in the Eastern Cape province. Nelson Mandela Metro University was also hired to look into the impact of the department’s programmes that aimed at mitigating child poverty in the province, such as foster care programme. The research focused on the eleven poorest municipalities in the province, but due to the scope of the province, only Nelson Mandela Metro, Ukhahlamba and OR Tambo District Municipalities were done. The idea behind the selection of the three districts is that they represent both the urban and rural setup of the province, according to Professor Michele from Fort Hare University.
The point of reference for the research is child poverty and the impact it inflicts particularly on the child population aimed at mitigating it. The findings as presented by the researcher indicated that the province has got a very high rate of infant mortality, poverty, HIV and AIDS and many other health insufficiencies that need to be addressed in an integrated approach by all departments of government. This province, according to the researchers, is the worst in child deprivation in South Africa hence the need for a consolidated child based policy programme. Education, health, lack of basic shelter, lack of clean water and sanitation were some the findings of the research.
One of the interventions in child poverty that was highlighted by the researchers is the foster care programme which gives social security grant that is aimed at fighting poverty on the opharned and vulnerable children.
The researchers praised this programme as a powerful programme if constituted properly and supported adequately by government and other relevant role players in child poverty alleviation. Complementing this programme is bana pele which fights the integenerational poverty of children. This programme looks into the child poverty in a holistic manner. Action plan has been drawn by the department and will be tabled before the Social Needs Cluster and other government department for their inputs.
Source: Department of Social Development, Eastern Cape Provincial Government
Issued by: Eastern Cape Social Development
28 Jul 2010
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