Picture: ISTOCK
Picture: ISTOCK

While the country has made "important" progress in reducing the number of children living in food poverty‚ seven out of 10 minors still go without an adequate and nutritious diet.

That is according to a report compiled by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in conjunction with United Nations children’s agency Unicef.

The report‚ titled Global Goals for Every Child: Progress and Disparities Among Children in South Africa‚ illustrates that much needs still to be done to ensure children’s rights are realised.

It was launched in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

"Stark disparities persist between different population groups and across geographic locations‚ with child deprivations still heavily concentrated in the areas where the former homelands of the apartheid era used to be‚" the report says.

According to the report‚ 12-million children receive child support grants‚ 470,000 are supported by foster child grants and 130,000 children with severe disabilities benefit from care dependency grants.

However‚ barriers to accessing child grants remain a concern.

"For instance‚ 18% of eligible children are not receiving the child support grant‚" says the report.

"Poverty and unemployment are inextricably linked‚ with over 60% of SA’s poorest children not having any working adults at home."

Child Welfare SA said child poverty had become a "norm" and people were not moved by the plight of children.

"The society has become so desensitised to the plight of children that the story of child poverty no longer moves people to action‚" said Child Welfare SA’s Dr Benny Obayi.

"The reason child poverty persists is that we think handouts above empowerment," he said.

"We should invest more on education, building the capacity of children to think and be great."

SA needed to invest in life skills programmes for young people. "How we perceive each other is a result of our socialisation process. We need to relook the life orientation programmes in school."

TMG Digital

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