The relationship between household povery and child deprivation in Jabulani Township
Mdluli, Phindile Gcina
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Poverty persists as one of the critical challenges in South Africa, predominantly because it is inbred. Currently, the majority of South Africa’s children live in households that are incapable of providing basic needs. Children born from deprived households have a high chance of being trapped into the cycle of poverty. Thus, household poverty affects child differently from adults; children tend to be more vulnerable to deprivation and poverty. The purpose of this study was to analyse the relationship between household poverty and child deprivation in Jabulani, a South African township. The study used an asset index and a child deprivation index to measure the scope of household poverty and child deprivation in Jabulani Township. The main focus of the study was to determine if household poverty has an impact on the deprivation status of a child living in a particular household. Therefore, analysing demographics of the household and its poverty status was also important. The empirical analysis of the study was centred on data collected from Jabulani Township in May 2015 by means of a survey questionnaire with a sample of 178 randomly selected households. Several statistical methods were used such as descriptive statistics, correlations and regression analysis to identify the overlaps between household poverty and child deprivation. The asset index was used to determine the poverty status of the household by measuring its wealth, thus identifying if a child from a poor household will be deprived of certain items by comparing it to the child deprivation index. The child deprivation index was constructed based on specific items a child may lack. The relationship between household poverty and child deprivation was determined and it was found that most of the children from poor households are not severely deprived; they are either less deprived or moderately deprived at most. Similarly, there are children from the well-off households who are deprived moderately and severely. However, the majority of the children living in less poor households are also less deprived. Thus, it was concluded that household needs are different from child needs, hence we find children who are not deprived in poor households and vice versa. The Relationship between Household Poverty and Child Deprivation in Jabulani Township Page vii The extent of household poverty was determined and as defined by the asset index the study found that 59 percent of the households in Jabulani Township are not poor, 31.5 percent have poverty levels just below average (based on the asset index measuring long-term wealth) and 9.6 percent are poor. Furthermore, it was found that the majority of the sampled population of Jabulani Township has low income levels, most of the asset poor households were also found to be income poor and vice versa. The study revealed that females head most households in Jabulani Township; female heads of household were found to have lower poverty levels compared to male heads of household. It was found that the majority of the heads of household have no schooling and quite a few of them have tertiary level education. The largest source of income in Jabulani Township is child support grant (87.1 percent) and wages or salaries contribute 77 percent to household income. The prevalence of child deprivation was determined based on the child deprivation index. It was found that 62.9 percent of the children in Jabulani Township are less deprived, 29.2 percent are moderately deprived and only 9.9 percent of the children are severely deprived. Therefore, the majority of the children in Jabulani Township are not severely deprived. The regression analysis results revealed that the total income of the household is a significant determinant of the asset index and the child deprivation index. Based on these findings it is recommended that more investments should be made towards education in Jabulani Township, as this could be a great move towards the alleviation of household poverty and, in turn, child deprivation. There is a need for skills empowerment especially in baking and sewing as most of the unemployed heads of households are skilled in those areas, this will curb dependence on the government and create more job opportunities so that the parents can provide for the needs of their children.