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Friday, 09 June 2006
Street Child

street child

This is a photograph I took in Point Road, Durban, last year that I have submitted for Photo Friday (theme: Poverty).

According to a The Childrens’ Institute at the University of Cape Town:

Child poverty is a major issue of concern in South Africa, and a legacy of Apartheid policies of underdevelopment. The lack of resources to adequately care for children and provide for their development has significant policy implications. Poverty not only aggravates the consequences of illnesses such as HIV-infections and AIDS, but also places great demands on the State to deliver basic services that address poverty and reduce inequity. The State’s capacity and will to reduce poverty and create jobs has serious implications for children.

The Department of Social Development released a first draft baseline document in July 2003 for the development of a national policy for families. The document states that 59% of children aged 0 – 17 are poor, and that:
Poverty affects children by reducing their chances of living beyond their first five years, by stunting their growth, rendering them vulnerable to infectious diseases and disabling injury, reducing their confidence and hope in the future, and limit (sic) their education capacity for developing to their full intellectual potential.
This poverty rate is based on estimates of household income using the Income and Expenditure Survey of 1999. However, according to Streak (2001, 23) “These child poverty estimates are conservative. An alternative analysis suggests that when income poverty is defined in the absolute sense – as a situation in which a child does not have the income needed to meet his or her basic needs - the child poverty rate in South Africa is even higher – about 70%.”

Not only is poverty widespread but inequality is also marked and growing. Inequality between and within provinces is marked with African families, families headed by women, families affected by HIV, and families in rural areas being most impoverished.

The children in my photograph live on the street, and would presumably not be included in any statistics on household poverty.

Posted by bigblue on 09/06/2006 at 10:06 AM
Filed under: AfricaSouth Africa • (0) CommentsPermalinkBookmark or Share

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