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Articles on Social grants

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Rural women in Agincourt, South Africa, with water collection containers. Lauren Porter

What has changed for rural South African women in the last 25 years

The provision of better health services and social grants has aided rural women’s progress in South Africa, but there are still tremendous needs to be met.
Ederies Samodien offers a child apples at a shack settlement as part of a poverty relief effort in Cape Town. Almost 56% of South Africans live in poverty. EFE-EPA/Nic Bothma

What can be done to tackle the systemic causes of poverty in South Africa

There’s a crucial need to connect the most vulnerable people with public services in order to tackle systemic poverty and disadvantage. An integrated approach is key.
Residents clean up the streets and local businesses after looting incidents in Alexandra, Johannesburg. EFE-EPA/Kim Ludbrook

What lies behind social unrest in South Africa, and what might be done about it

Much of the commentary on the July riots, which cost over 300 lives and billions of rands in damage to the economy, has neglected the long history of violent protests in the country.
An unemployed man collects trash for resale in Diepsloot Johannesburg. Calls are growing for a basic income grant for poor South Africans. EFE-EPA/Kim Ludbrook

South Africa’s basic income versus jobs debate: a false dilemma

Basic income must be embedded within a broader strategy of economic reform, aimed at increasing the social wage and improving working conditions.
Children receive biscuits and other foods from the Groundbreakers community feeding programme in Ocean View, Cape Town. EPA-EFE/Nic Bothma

South Africa faces mass hunger if efforts to offset impact of COVID-19 are eased

South Africans have experienced significant shocks to their livelihoods, and the threat of hunger presents a major concern for health, political and social stability.
Grootvlei, Snake Park, an impoverished suburb on the fringe of one of the biggest mine dumps in Soweto, Johannesburg. Poor people have been hit hardest by the fallout of COVID-19. Mujahid Safodien/AFP via Getty Images

Who has been hit hardest by South Africa’s lockdown? We found some answers

The net effect is that the shocks are most severe on poorer, more vulnerable households.
Millions of poor South Africans rely on social grants, including the child support grant, just to survive. PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP via Getty Images

South Africa can – and should – top up child support grants to avoid a humanitarian crisis

To support precarious households that can’t access existing relief during lockdown and its aftermath, the government should implement a temporary increase in the value of the child support grant.
Community members in Zandspruit west of Johannesburg block roads after their illegal electricity connections were removed. EPA/Kevin Sutherland

Ramaphosa should focus on inequality rather than squeezing poor people

A clandestine system of transfer payment, with roots in apartheid-era boycotts, has developed into routine behaviour on which many family budgets now depend.

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