Targeting of the child support grant in KwaZulu-Natal.
In response to the high levels of child poverty, the government of South Africa introduced the Child Support Grant (CSG) in 1998. The grant, initially targeted children 6 years and younger. Over the years it has been extended to include children 15 years and younger. According to many studies the grant has proven to be beneficial. This study investigated the targeting of the CSG, if it indeed reaching the poor children via their caregivers. Care-givers, who reported receiving the CSG in KIDS 2004, were tracked to KIDS 1998 to determine their demographic and socioeconomic profile. A combination of quantitative and qualitative research methods was employed. The demographic and socio-economic characteristics of caregivers receiving and not receiving the CSG were analysed using cross tabs. Based on the means test income threshold, caregivers who are eligible and non-eligible for the CSG were identified. Multinomial regression was applied to identify the targeted, omitted and leaked CSG beneficiaries. These findings were augmented by the findings from the qualitative data. Based on the proxy indicators of poverty, the findings from the study have revealed that the CSG is being targeted at the poor, however there is evidence of both type I and type 11 errors of targeting present. Whilst type 11 error (leakage) is negligible, type I error of under-coverage is quite prominent. In essence the grant is reaching only some of its intended beneficiaries but not all of them. The study calls for government and its stakeholders to revisit the targeting design and implementation of the GCS.