No pregnancy for profit here

CSG/pregnancy infographic

An infographic explaining the benefits of the Child Support Grant

One of the most critised social support programmes in South Africa is the Child Support Grant (CSG). Persistent rumours since its introduction have claimed that women, particularly adolescent women, are falling pregnant more often in order to claim a higher monthly amount from the government.

But recent research conducted by the University of Witwaterstrand refutes this common myth, instead suggesting that women who receive these grants after their first pregnancy will actually wait longer before second pregnancy than the women who do not.

CSGs were first introduced in 1998, initially aimed at supporting very young children, but can now be claimed for children up until the age of 18. In 2015, the monthly amount per child was R330.

The research was conducted by Dr Molly Rosenberg, a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, in an area of rural Mpumalanga between the years 1993 0 2003. Amongst the 4 845 female primary caregivers included in the study, half received the grant after the birth of their first child and half did not.

The data gathered from her research was unexpected: the women who did receive the grants waited, on average, 30 months longer than women who did not receive the grant for a second pregnancy.

An estimated 10 million South African children benefit from the Child Support Grant photo: Cathy Draper

An estimated 10 million South African children benefit from the Child Support Grant photo: Cathy Draper

Rosenberg and her colleagues believe that this could be because of a number of reasons. Firstly, the grant is used to gain access to health care, including family planning, which reduces the chance of an unwanted pregnancy. Secondly, while R330 is enough money to divert the worst effects of poverty, it is not a large enough financial incentive to cause women to have multiple children. And thirdly, the grant gives women a small measure of economic independence from men, meaning that they feel less pressured into sexual acts or less susceptible to sexual assault.


About robykirk

Robyn was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, still isn't dead and despises writing in the third person. She received her undergraduate degree at Rhodes University, having completed a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, History and Journalism at the end of 2013 and completed her Honours in Journalism (career entry) at Wits University in Johannesburg during 2014. From April 2015 until March 2016 she worked as the Communications Intern for the MRC/Wits Agincourt Research unit in rural Mpumalanga. This blog is a collection of the work produced: - for the Wits University student newspaper and website Wits Vuvuzela during 2014 - during her internship at MRC/WIts Agincourt Research Unit (2015/2016) and independent blogging (2014-present). Robyn is interested in everything besides sports and mean people. In the past she has specialised in photojournalism and television journalism, and considers visual media to be one of her strongest skills. She decided to become a journalist because learning about other people’s lives was more fun than putting on pants and having her own. Follow her on Twitter: @RobyKirk

Posted on February 11, 2016, in Science Communication and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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