Welfare grants help children walk taller


CHILDREN in households that receive a government child support grant grow taller, are less likely to repeat a grade at school and benefit from increased expenditure on food, compared with “adult products” like alcohol and cigarettes, says a recent research paper published by online policy forum Econ3x3.

The paper by University of Stellenbosch economics lecturer Marisa Coetzee compares the education, nutrition and health of children whose caregivers have received the grant for a large part of the children’s lives compared with those who received it for less time.

The paper adds to a growing body of evidence that welfare grants have been effective in reducing household poverty. It takes this analysis one step further to show that children specifically benefit from the support grant as their wellbeing measurably improves.

About 11-million children will benefit this year from the grant of R310 a month.


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