Evaluating the impact of social grants on food security and poverty alleviation in South Africa
Koswana, Victor Mandilakhe
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The relationship between social welfare policies and food security across the world remains a significant challenge that has raised intense scholarly debate. A number of suggestions have been offered on how to measure social welfare policies in terms of addressing the household level food security and poverty reduction. Accordingly, a variety of hypotheses and different modalities of measurements have been developed. In line with Rawls’ theory of justice, this research study seeks to analyse the extent to which social welfare policies address food security and poverty in South Africa. A quantitative method of research was applied and secondary data was used throughout the study to understand the variation of poverty within the provinces of South Africa, by population group and household income. This was accentuated through a social grants review intervention on food security and poverty alleviation in South Africa. For the purpose of this study, the fifth round of the South African National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) (Wave V) was used for data analysis. In general, data entry and analysis was done using statistical software STATA version 15.1. The study found that provincially, Limpopo, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal are in serious crisis in poverty and food security and social grants are also in demand especially in rural areas. Secondly, social grants are a crucial component of South Africa's battle against food security and poverty. They are not sufficient to alleviate poverty and food insecurity and the high inflation rate supersedes the slow increase of social grants, especially regarding food princes. The money received from social grants is not spent exclusively on food but on numerous needs of the household such as transport costs, medical care, clothes, etc. Within the context of the abovementioned analysis, the study brings into focus general observations gained from the investigation and makes recommendations to policy-makers and other stakeholders.