Social Indicators Research

, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 511–529 | Cite as

Exploring the Eligibility Criteria of the Child Support Grant and its Impact on Poverty

  • Rochelle Beukes
  • Ada Jansen
  • Mariana Moses
  • Derek Yu
Article
  • 229 Downloads

Abstract

One of the most important policy objectives in the post-apartheid South African economy is to reduce poverty. Although economic growth and job creation are the preferred sources of alleviating poverty and inequality, social grant spending has contributed significantly to reduce poverty (Van der Berg et al. in Poverty trends since the transition: what we know. Stellenbosch Economic Working Papers: 19/09. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University, 2009). Recently proposals were tabled by the Department of Social Development of South Africa (Fin24 in R3.3bn plan to extend child support grant to 21. http://www.fin24.com/Economy/R33bn-child-care-grant-extension-to-21-on-cards-20150316. Accessed August 7, 2015, 2015) to extend the age eligibility of the child support grant (CSG) to 21 years (at the time of writing children aged up to 18 years are eligible). This sparked an interest to investigate the impact on poverty of changes to the eligibility criteria of CSG, as well as its fiscal implications. Using person and household data from the 2010/2011 Income and Expenditure Survey, various simulations are performed to assess the impact on poverty rates and changes to social spending, given the following changes: (1) if all age-eligible children applied; (2) if all beneficiaries received the grant amount for the full 12-month duration; (3) if the age eligibility criterion is extended; and (4) if the monthly child grant income amount is revised upwards. We also examine how changes in the eligibility criteria affect the income distribution.

Keywords

Child support grant South Africa Poverty Simulations Fiscal impact Equity 

References

  1. Aguero, J., Carter, M., & Woolard, I. (2009). The impact of unconditional cash transfers on nutrition: The South African child support grant. In: IPC working paper 39. Brasilia: International Poverty Centre.Google Scholar
  2. Armstrong, P., & Burger, C. (2008). Poverty, inequality and the role of Social Grants: An analysis through decomposition techniques. Paper presented at the Development Policy Research Unit Conference.Google Scholar
  3. Bhorat, H., Tseng, D., & Stanwix, B. (2014). Pro-poor growth and social protection in South Africa: Exploring the interactions. Development Southern Africa, 31(2), 219–240.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Black, P., Calitz, E., & Steenekamp, T. (2015). Public Economics (6th ed.). Cape Town: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Black Sash: Making Human Rights Real. (2015). You and your rights: Child support grant. http://www.blacksash.org.za/images/yourrights/csg_june05.pdf. Accessed July 20, 2015.
  6. Budlender, D., & Woolard, I. (2006). The impact of the South African child support and old age grants on children’s schooling and work. Unpublished study prepared for the international programme on the elimination of child labour. Geneva: International Labour Organisation.Google Scholar
  7. Case, A., Hosegood, V., & Lund, F. (2005). The reach and impact of child support grants: Evidence from KwaZulu-Natal. Development Southern Africa, 22(4), 467–482.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Coetzee, M. (2013). Finding the benefits: Estimating the impact of the South African child support grant. South African Journal of Economics, 81(3), 427–450.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Devereux, S. (2007). Social pensions in Southern Africa in the twentieth century. Journal of Southern African Studies, 33(3), 539–560.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Devereux, S., Masset, E., Sabates-Wheeler, R., Samson, M., Rivas, A.-M. & Te Lintelo, D. (2015). Evaluating the targeting effectiveness of social transfers: A literature review. In: CSP working paper No. 012. Brighton: Centre for the Social Protection.Google Scholar
  11. Fin24. (2015). R3.3bn plan to extend child support grant to 21. http://www.fin24.com/Economy/R33bn-child-care-grant-extension-to-21-on-cards-20150316. Accessed August 7, 2015.
  12. Gomersall, J. (2013). The performance of the child support grant: Review and research priorities. Development Southern Africa, 30(4–5), 525–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hall, K. (2014). Income and social grants—child support grants. http://www.childrencount.ci.org.za/indicator.php?id=2&indicator=10. Accessed July 20, 2015.
  14. Leibbrandt, M., Finn, A., & Woolard, I. (2012). Describing and decomposing post-apartheid income inequality in South Africa. Development Southern Africa, 29(1), 19–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Leibbrandt, M., Woolard, I., Finn, A., & Argent, J. (2010). Trend in South African income distribution and poverty since the fall of apartheid. In: OECD social, employment and migration working papers No. 101. Paris: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.Google Scholar
  16. Levine, S., Van der Berg, S., & Yu, D. (2011). The impact of cash transfers on household welfare in Namibia. Development Southern Africa, 28(1), 39–59.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. McEwen, H., & Woolard, I. (2008). The changing dynamics of child grants in the context of high adult mortality in South Africa: A simulation to 2015. Published study for the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS). http://www.plaas.org.za/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/Woolard_McEwen.pdf. Accessed May 21, 2016.
  18. National Treasury. (2013). National Budget 2013: Chapter 6: Social security and the social wage. Pretoria: National Treasury.Google Scholar
  19. National Treasury. (2014). Estimates of national expenditure 2014. Pretoria: National Treasury.Google Scholar
  20. Omiolola, B., & Kaniki, S. (2014). Social protection in Africa: A review of potential contribution and impact on poverty reduction. New York: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).Google Scholar
  21. Osei, R. D. (2011). Reducing poverty through a social grants programme: The case of Ghana. Institute of Statistical Social and Economic Research (ISSER). Legon: University of Ghana.Google Scholar
  22. Republic of South Africa. (2015). Child support grant. http://www.gov.za/services/child-care-social-benefits/child-support-grant. Accessed November 08, 2015.
  23. Rosa, S., & Guthrie, T. (2002). Extending the child support grant to all children under 18 years. http://www.ci.org.za/depts/ci/pubs/pdf/rights/facts/csg_final.pdf. Accessed May 25, 2016.
  24. Rosen, H. S., & Gayer, T. (2014). Public finance (10th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.Google Scholar
  25. South African Social Security Agency (SASSA). (2010). You and your grants 2010/2011. http://www.downsyndrome.org.za/SASSA.pdf. Accessed July 20, 2015.
  26. Statistics South Africa. (2012). Income and expenditure of households 2010/2011: Metadata. Pretoria: Statistics South Africa.Google Scholar
  27. Statistics South Africa. (2015). CPI history: 1960 onwards. http://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/P0141/CPIHistory.pdf. Accessed July 20, 2015.
  28. Triegaardt, J. D. (2005). The child support grant in South Africa: A social policy for poverty alleviation? International Journal of Social Welfare, 14, 249–255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Van der Berg, S., Louw, M., & Du Toit, L. (2009). Poverty trends since the transition: What we know. In: Stellenbosch economic working papers: 19/09. Stellenbosch: Stellenbosch University.Google Scholar
  30. Van der Berg, S., Siebrits, K., & Lekezwa, B. (2010). Efficiency and equity effects of social grants in South Africa. In: Stellenbosch economic working papers No 15/10. Stellenbosch: University of Stellenbosch, Department of Economics and Bureau for Economic Research.Google Scholar
  31. Woolard, I., & Leibbrandt, M.V. (2006). Towards a poverty line for South Africa: Background note. Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU), University of Cape Town.Google Scholar
  32. Woolard, I., Buthelezi, T., & Bertscher, J. (2012). Child grants: Analysis of the NIDS Wave 1 and 2 Datasets. In: SALDRU working paper series No. 84/NIDS discussion paper 2012/7. Cape Town: Southern African Labour and Development Research Unit.Google Scholar
  33. World Bank. (2013). World development report 2014: Risk and opportunity. Washington: World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Wright, G., Neves, D., Ntshongwana, P., & Noble, M. (2015). Social assistance and dignity: South African women’s experiences of the child support grant. Development Southern Africa, 32(4), 443–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsUniversity of the Western CapeBellvilleSouth Africa
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsStellenbosch UniversityMatielandSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations