• Derick Blaauw Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg.
  • Kotie Viljoen Department of Economics and Econometrics, University of Johannesburg.
  • Rinie Schenck Department of Social Work, University of South Africa (Unisa), Pretoria, South Africa.


Richter (2004:9) suggests that child-headed households (CHHs) are much more vulnerable economically than adult-headed households. “Income in orphan households has been found to be 20-30% lower than in non-orphan households” (Richter, 2004:9). This is confirmed by Donald and Clacherty (2005). Children in child-headed households survive on about one-third of the resources (money as well as contributions in kind, such as gifts or food, etc.) available to adult-headed households. This is because these children lack the presence of parents, they have limited means of generating an income and they are unable to effectively sustain their households (Donald & Clacherty, 2005:24).


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