A May 2019 marketing campaign by chocolate company Cadbury claims that “for some of the 3.7 million orphans in South Africa, toys and the important part they play in childhood are simply not there”.
The high figure of 3.7 million which has been used on Cadbury South Africa’s social media accounts has been unpacked by Africa Check.
Acting Deputy Editor at Africa Check Kate Wilkinson joined Azania to share their own findings. She says the claim is based on a statistic by Unicef which is incorrect.
We found it on their website and there was no date on the page and that is often a big problem. If there is any large organisation listening,date your web pages because people will find numbers and assume that they are current. We go in touch with Unicef and they said it is outdated.— Kate Wilkinson, Deputy editor - Africa Check
Wilkinson says current research shows that there are 2.3 million orphans in South Africa.
What we did was go back a little bit, we went back to 2011 for our last census and what we found was that there were 3.4 million orphans in South Africa. We then went to the 2016 community survey and in that year we see quite a significant decline, in that year it went from 3.4 to 2.4 million. Jump two years later to 2018 to the general household survey we see that there are now 2.3 million orphans in South Africa.— Kate Wilkinson, Deputy editor - Africa Check
We really believe that good advocacy has to be based on good research and so we fact check on a range of things. If you do not have a good understanding of the problem it is very difficult to allocate resources, set priorities and angle a campaign.— Kate Wilkinson, Deputy editor - Africa Check
Africa Check says Cadbury did not get back to them on the matter.
Click on the link below to hear the full conversation...