Poverty and the economics of child and grandmother–headed households in Sebokeng
Makhalima, Jabulile Lindiwe
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This dissertation studies poverty and the economics of child-headed and grandmother-headed households in Sebokeng. The study takes interest in five main areas, namely, poverty, unemployment, child and grandmother-headed households, the state of poverty and unemployment in Sebokeng as well as the living conditions of child and grandmother-headed households in Sebokeng. The approach in this dissertation was to define and measure poverty and unemployment and to determine the poor population of Sebokeng. This was done by making use of household level indicators. Poverty was measured by employing the following indicators: the Household Subsistence level (HSL) as poverty line, the head count index, the poverty gap and the dependency ratio. A comparison was done between Sebokeng and Bophelong. Sebokeng has a higher level of poverty (85%) than that of Bophelong (67%) while the unemployment rates (27%) is lower than that of Bophelong (31%). Most indicators (level of education, income, expenditure) prove that Bophelong is better off compared to Sebokeng. This dissertation takes further interest in comparing child and grandmother-headed households to “normal” households in Sebokeng. The study found that the main source of income for child-headed households is foster and child support grants (54%) while pension grants serve as the main source of income for both grandmother-headed households and “normal” households (65%).The study therefore proves that child-headed households are worse off financially and otherwise in comparison to grandmother-headed and “normal” households. If more social worker assistance was available to these orphans in the form of assistance with the application for identity documents and birth certificates at the Department of Home Affairs, these orphans would not be as worse-off as was found in this study. The dissertation concludes that the depth of poverty in child-headed households is thus greater than that of grandmother-headed and “normal” households, and it recommends that government should take further steps to reduce the unemployment rate by paying attention to the preferred skills of the population of Poverty and the economics of child and grandmother-headed households in Sebokeng. Sebokeng by offering training to enhance those skills. Food gardening projects should be organised so that the poor can sustain themselves and earn an income in the process. The dissertation also recommends that government should take more interest in improving the lives of these orphans by encouraging them to go to school and in obtaining identity documents. This can be possible through the assistance of social workers as these two elements can open many doors to a better life for these orphans.
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