SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC CHARACTERISTICS OF SOCIAL GRANTS BENEFICIARY HOUSEHOLDS: IT’S EFFECT ON FOOD INSECURITY IN THE UMHLATHUZE LOCAL MUNICIPALITY, KWAZULU-NATAL

Samela Mtyngizane, Mfundo Mandla Masuku, Mosa Selepe

Abstract


The South African government’s focus has been on the accumulating state of household food insecurity that devastates the most disadvantaged groups. The purpose of the study is to establish the effectiveness of social grants in reducing food insecurity within beneficiary households with consideration of the characteristics of the individual responsible for the household. Approximately a third of the South African population and half of the households receive at least one social grant benefit in some provinces. Data was collected from 100 social grants beneficiaries with the aid of a questionnaire and bivariate analysis, which was undertaken to segregate state of food security by socio-demographic characteristics. This study was based on the pilot study of the bigger study in the area to determine the effect of social grants on food insecurity. The findings indicated that households rely on the grants for survival and the causes of food insecurity in the community are far beyond the basic characteristics of the caregiver. This paper proposes that more resources and programmes that encourage self-sufficiency should be made available to these low-income households. The annual increase of state grants should be linked to the cost of a nutritional food basket in South Africa so the beneficiaries can maintain their purchasing powers during times of price inflation and drought


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