Provinces fail to track child-headed households

Issued by Bridget Masango MP – DA Shadow Minister of Social Development
19 Jul 2023 in News

Note to editors: Please find attached soundbite by Bridget Masango MP

Despite the Department of Social Development’s Children’s Act Monitoring System and quarterly reports provided by the provinces, the Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, was unable to provide data for the number of child-headed households in four provinces.

Given that a recent study by the University of Cape Town, of 2019 data derived from StatsSA, revealed that over 70% of child-headed households live in the Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal, it is very concerning that both KZN and Limpopo, as well as North West and Mpumalanga, failed to respond to the Minister’s request for information in answer to a DA parliamentary question.

What makes this more worrying is that the Minister should have at least some information on hand from the quarterly reports she claims to receive from all the provinces.

And while the numbers of child-headed households appear relatively low, 236 households nationally, the fact is that we do not have the full picture. Is it a case of KZN, Limpopo, North West and Mpumalanga having no child-headed households, or are they simply failing to track them and leaving vulnerable children to fend for themselves?

The fact that Minister Zulu gave no indication of whether she’s following up these provincial Departments, and if so, when she’ll provide the relevant information, seem to indicate a callous lack of care – a characteristic she’s revealed often in the past when dealing with the poor and vulnerable people she is meant to serve.