World Hunger Day: Social grants can't support rising costs of feeding a child

Caller Nthabiseng insists that government should explore the distribution of virtual coupons to grant recipients, to address malnutrition in South Africa.

She says that grant monies are not used appropriately by some parents.

With young girls it becomes enticing for them to do their hair before they actually care for their child. I know one of my relatives whose child was 8-months-old and they were admitted in hospital for malnutrition. She gets money for the kids but where does it go to?

Nthabiseng, 702 caller

If they get subsidies on milk, or key nutrition, or even if they present it at a retailer for a bag, they get R200 and the R50 they get for that amount they get subsidised a bag of milk or some vegetables, that the kid can actually eat.

Nthabiseng, 702 caller

Dr Tracey Ledger, research fellow at Wits School of Social Sciences agrees with Nthabiseng's idea and says social grants are not enough to feed one child.

A child under 5, as just one example, needs half a liter of milk everyday and with the current retail price of milk, it could cost more than half of the monthly child grant just to feed the child that one item.

Tracey Ledger, Research fellow at Wits School of Social Sciences

Between 10 and 20 South African children die of starvation everyday in this country. This is a real crisis, children are having their cognitive development damaged... there is a strong research link between malnutrition and early life and a propensity for violence in later life which goes a long way in understanding why we have such high levels of violence in the country.

Tracey Ledger, Research fellow at Wits School of Social Sciences

Click on the link below to listen to the full audio....

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