Children are disproportionately represented among the poor and official estimates of child poverty in SA range from 51% to 67%. Interventions aimed at reversing the debilitating effects of poverty require well-targeted resources, an understanding that consistent financial investment is imperative, and spending by departments that are adept at converting resources into meaningful outputs for children. In the latest budget proposals, for every R100, almost R17 is allocated to basic education, R14 is earmarked for health services and R13 is set aside to support mostly social grant spending. However, R11 is allocated to meeting national debt obligations, thus reducing spending on social services generally, and children’s programmes more specifically. Budget 2018 represents a mixed bag for children. One, above-inflationary increases to social grants for children are generally good news, but its overall impact is muted by the high costs of food prices. Spending on the child support grant ...

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