• Dorothee Hölscher School of Social Work and Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal: Howard College Campus, Durban, South Africa.
  • Madhu Kasiram School of Social Work and Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal: Howard College Campus, Durban, South Africa.
  • Reshma Sathiparsad School of Social Work and Community Development, University of KwaZulu-Natal: Howard College Campus, Durban, South Africa.




Following the change from over 350 years of colonial and apartheid rule in South Africa, thefirst democratically elected government that came into power in 1994 was faced with thechallenge of having to address vast levels of inequality and poverty. The distribution of wealthwere extremely skewed in terms of race, gender and region, with children growing up in rural,black and female-headed households disproportionately affected by severe levels of poverty(Cassiem, Perry, Sadan & Streak, 2000; Landman, Bhorat, Van der Berg & Van Aardt, 2003;May, 1998; UNDP, 2004). Consequently, child mortality and levels of stunted growth in SouthAfrica in general and amongst this group of children in particular were unacceptably high, and– by now constitutionally enshrined – children’s rights and basic needs were unmet for themajority of South African children (Manuel, 2007). Poverty continues to be the biggestchallenge faced by the government: Brandon and Pather (2007) for example cite that 24 millionSouth Africans are living below the poverty line, half of whom are dependent on governmentgrants.


Download data is not yet available.


ALLEN, J., PEASE, B. & BRISKMAN, L. (eds) 2003. Critical social work: an introduction

to theories and practices. Australia: Allen & Unwin.

BARKER, F 2003. The South African labour markets (4th ed). Pretoria: Van Schaik


BARRY, B. 2005. Why social justice matters. Cambridge: Polity Press.

BRANDON, M. & PATHER, S. 2007. Eight million on child support. The Times, November,

CASE, A. & ARDINGTON, C. 2004. The impact of parental death on school enrolment and

achievement: longitudial evidence from South Africa. CSSR Working Paper No. 97. Cape

Town: University of Cape Town.

CASE, A., HOSEGOOD, V. & LUND, F. 2005. The reach and impact of the Child Support

Grant in South Africa: evidence from KwaZulu-Natal. Development Southern Africa,


CASSIEM, S., PERRY, H., SADAN, M. & STREAK, J. 2000. Child poverty and the budget.

Cape Town: Idasa.

CHAMBON, A.S., IRVING, A. & EPSTEIN, L. (eds) 1999. Reading Foucault for social

work. New York: Columbia University Press.

CLARKE, J. 1993. The comfort of strangers: social work in context. In: CLARKE, J. (ed) A

crisis in care? Challenges to social work. London, Newbury Park, New Delhi: Sage


DEPARTMENT OF WELFARE. 1997 White Paper for Social Welfare. Available:

www.gov.za/whitepaper/1997. [Accessed: 10/10/2003].

DLUNGWANA, N.E. 2007. The experiences of children who are heads of households in

Hammarsdale. Durban: University of KwaZulu-Natal. (Unpublished MA Thesis)

DOLGOFF, R., FELDSTEIN, D. & SKELNIK, L. 1993. Understanding social welfare (3rd

ed). New York & London: Longman.

DOMINELLI, L. 2002. Anti-oppressive social work theory and practice. Houndmills,

Basingstoke & Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.

EWING, D. 2004. Constitution of South Africa. Children First, (8):57-58.

HALL, K., LEATT, A. & ROSA, S. 2005. Does the ‘means’ justify the end? Targeting the

Child Support Grant. In: LEATT, A. & ROSA, S. (eds) Towards a means to live: targeting

poverty alleviation to make children’s rights real. Cape Town: Children’s Institute.

HÖLSCHER, D. & SEWPAUL, V. 2006. Ethics as a site of resistance: the tension between

social control and critical reflection. In: HALL, N. (ed) Social work: making a world of

difference. Social work around the world IV in the year of IFSW’s 50th Jubilee.

International Federation of Social Workers and Fafo.

HÖLSCHER, D. & MUBANGIZI, B. 2007. The experience of poverty in South Africa:

Implications for social work and community development practice. In: REKHLAU, C. &

LUTZ, R. (eds) Sozialarbeit des Südens. Band 2 – Schwerpunkt Afrika. Oldenburg: Paulo

Freire Verlag.

HÖLSCHER, D. 2008. The Emperor’s new clothes: the attempted transition to developmental

social welfare and social work in post-apartheid South Africa. International Journal of Social

Welfare, 17(2):114-123.

IFE, J. & TESORIERO, F. 2006. Community development: community-based alternatives

in an age of globalization (3rd ed). French Forest: Pearson Education.

JEWKES, R., LEVIN, J. & PENN-KEKANA, L. 2002. Risk factors for domestic violence:

findings from a South African cross-sectional study. Social Science & Medicine, 55(8):1603-

LANDMAN, J.P., BHORAT, H., VAN DER BERG, S. & VAN AARDT, C. 2003. Breaking

the grip of poverty and inequality in South African 2004-2014: current issues and future

policy options. Available: http://www.sarpn.org.za. [Accessed: 14/05/2007].

LEE, J.A. 2001. The empowerment approach to social work practice. Building the beloved

community. New York: Columbia University Press.

LEONARD, P. 1997. Postmodern welfare. Reconstructing an emancipatory project.

London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi: Sage Publications.

LUND, F. 2002. Consensus & contestation: the policy for child support in South Africa.

Draft Monograph, School of Development Studies, University of Natal.

LUND, F. 2007. Lecture: the child support grant. Unpublished address to University of

KwaZulu-Natal Level 4 Social Work Students. March.

LUND, F. 2008. Changing social policy: the Child Support Grant in South Africa. Cape

Town: HSRC Press.

MAKIWANE, M & UDJO, E 2006. Is the Child Support Grant associated with the

increase of teenage fertility in South Africa: evidence from National Service and

Administrative Data. Pretoria: Human Resource Council.

MANUEL, T.A. 2007. Budget Speech 2007. Available: http://www.info.gov.za. [Accessed:


MANUEL, T.A. 2008. Budget Speech 2008. Available: www.businesspartners.co.za/

budgetspeech2008.pdf. [Accessed: 10/04/2008].

MAY, J. 1998. Poverty and Inequality in South Africa: report prepared for the Office of

the Executive Deputy President and the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Poverty and

Inequality. Summary Report. Available: http://www.welfare.gov.za/Documents/1998/

Pov.htm. [Accessed: 29/05/2007].

McCORD, A. 2004. Public works as a component of social protection in South Africa.

Available: www.big.org.za. [Accessed: 28/11/2007].

McLAUGHLIN, H. 2007. Understanding social work research. London: Sage Publications.


A situational analysis of OVC services in the Kopanong municipality, Free State. In:

SKINNER, D. & DAVIDS, A. (eds) A situational analysis of orphans and vulnerable

children in four districts of South Africa. Cape Town: HSRC: 31-46.

MIDGLEY, J. 1981. Professional imperialism: social work in the Third World. London:

Heinemann Educational Books.

MIDGLEY, J. 1995. Social development. The developmental perspective in social welfare.

London: Sage Publications.

MOULTRIE, T.A. & TIMAEUS, I.M. 2003. South African fertility decline: evidence from two

censuses and a Demographic and Health Survey. Population Studies, 57(3):265-283.

MUBANGIZI, B.C. 2008. Responses to poverty in post-apartheid South Africa: some

reflections. International Journal of Social Welfare, 17(2):174-181.

MULLALY, R.P. 1997. Structural social work: ideology, theory and practice. Oxford:

Oxford University Press.

MULLALY, R.P. 2002. Challenging oppression: a critical social work approach. Oxford:

Oxford University Press.

PARTON, N. 1996. Social theory, social change and social work: an introduction. In:

PARTON, N. (ed) Social theory, social change and social work. London, New York:


PAYNE, M. 2005. Modern social work theory (3rd ed). New York: Palgrave MacMillan.

PEASE, B. & FOOK, J. (eds) 1999. Transforming social work practice: postmodern critical

perspectives. London & New York: Routledge.

POGGENPOEL, S. & OLIVER, L. 2005. Investigating the implications of ten years of

democracy for women: the role of the Department of Social Development. Available:

http://www.idasa.org.za. [Accessed: 28/11/2006].

RSA (REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA). 1996. Report of the Lund Committee on Child

and Family Support. Pretoria: Government Printer.

SEWPAUL, V. 2005. A structural social justice approach to family policy: a critique of the

draft South African Family Policy. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 41(4):310-322.

SEWPAUL, V. & HÖLSCHER, D. 2004. Social work in times of neo-liberalism: a

postmodern discourse. Pretoria: Van Schaik.

SEWPAUL, V. & HÖLSCHER, D. 2007. Against the odds: community-based interventions for

children in difficult circumstances in post-apartheid South Africa. In: DOMINELLI, L. (ed)

Revitalising communities in a globalising world. Hampshire: Ashgate.

SKWEYIYA, Z. 2006. Media statement: minister to launch project aimed at reducing

dependency on social grants. Available: http://www.gov.za. [Accessed: 16/05/2007].

TABANE, R. 2008. A(nother) war on poverty. Mail and Guardian, 15-21 February, 6.

TAYLOR COMMITTEE. 2002. Transforming the present – protecting the future. Draft

Consolidated Report of the Committee of Inquiry into a Comprehensive System of Social

Security for South Africa. Pretoria: National Department of Social Development.

TERREBLANCHE, S. 2002. A history of inequality in South Africa 1652-2002. Jointly

published by University of Natal Press (Scottsville) and KMM Review Publishing (Sandton).

TRIEGAARDT, J. & PATEL, L. 2005. Social security. In: PATEL, L. Social welfare &

social development in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford Southern Africa.

UNDP. 2004. South African Human Development Report 2003. Pretoria: United Nations

Development Programme and Oxford University Press.

UNICEF. 2006. Saving children, enhancing lives: combating HIV and AIDS in South

Africa. Pretoria: UNICEF.

WALKER, L. 2005. Negotiating the boundaries of masculinity in post-apartheid South Africa.

In: REID, G. & WALKER, L. Men behaving differently. Cape Town: Double Storey Books:


WILENSKY, H.L. & LEBEAUX, C.N. 1965. Industrial society and social welfare. New

York & London: The Free Press & Collier-MacMillan.

Acknowledgements: The authors would like to acknowledge the following students who were

involved in the research project:

C Weir-Smith, F Al Razak, I Naicker, L Ngcobo, M Ndlovu, M Yandisa, N Chanderman,

N Masinga, N Ncwane, N P Ndaba, N P Ndaba, N Shabane, P Mncwabe, P Mnqayi, P Mpisi,

S Chinsamy, TN Nkomo




How to Cite

Hölscher, D., Kasiram, M., & Sathiparsad, R. (2014). “DESERVING” CHILDREN, “UNDESERVING” MOTHERS? MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES ON THE CHILD SUPPORT GRANT. Social Work/Maatskaplike Werk, 45(1). https://doi.org/10.15270/45-1-218




Most read articles by the same author(s)

1 2 > >>