The role of transport in accesssing social services for women (Child Support Grant beneficiaries) in rural areas : a case study of the Lions River pay point.
Transport is a significant factor in development. It determines the extent to which people can access social services as well as work and livelihood opportunities. The study presented in this dissertation is based on a case study ofthe Lions River pay point, which is a shop in the Mngeni Municipality. The aim ofthe study was to look at the influence of transport in accessing social services for women (Child Support Grant beneficiaries) in rural areas. The findings are based on a sample of66 Child Support Grant (CSG) beneficiaries. Using quantitative methods, the study focused on women and their transport needs when accessing the Child Support Grant, medical care for their child/children and their child/children getting to and from school The sampling technique used was an in-depth use ofa case study as illustrative ofrural settings. The respondents constituted a convenience sample as anyone who was at the Lions River pay point were asked whether or not they received the CSG. Ifthe respondents were beneficiaries ofthe CSG, they were asked to respond to a survey questionnaire. The results ofthe study show that in rural areas, transport is a barrier to accessing social services. Due to poor roads and the limited availability oftranspo~women spend a considerable amount oftime accessing social services, time that could be used in income generating activities. Findings ofthis study confirm research undertaken in other unpublished studies (Ngubane 1999 and Nzama 2(01). They show that in rural settlements, transport is a serious barrier to accessing social services. Welfare beneficiaries have no choice and are forced to use expensive public transport due to a lack ofalternate modes oftransport. It has been suggested by Nzama (2001:2) that the transport efficiency ofrural households can be enhanced by improving the rural transport system (by creating better roads and foot paths) and by locating social services close 10 people in order 10 reduce the distance that they need to travel.