Saturday, February 26, 2011

Did Gordhan say R260 a month? Let’s make more babies quickly!

Like everything else in life, the government’s social development initiatives have both advantages and disadvantages. Take for instance the child support grant; while this may come as some sort of a relief to financial needy single mothers, it is also a stimulus for our staggering teenage pregnancy rate. I know of a few young girls from my neighborhood that saw the child support grant as a good enough reason to get pregnant. To them, free cash from the government just for having a baby sounds like an easy way to earn a survival.
Before you gasp in dismay please be informed that these girls’ idea of survival is being able to afford a few quarts of beer and maybe some cigarettes every weekend all in the name of having “fun”. Unknown to them is the fact that babies are very expensive to rise but that’s the least of their worries and I don’t blame them.  I mean, who would stress about the realities of bringing up a child when you have a mother that will gladly do it all for you at her expense? Besides there is a fun element to being pregnant:  a baby shower!
I’m very certain that some of these girls jumped for joy when Pravin Gordhan announced, on Wednesday, that the child support grant will increase to R260 a month in April and R270 in October this year. This may sound as absolute nonsense to you but R260 a month is quite a fortune to a naïve 16 year old girl whose only priority in life is getting wasted at every chance she may get.  
Like every year, the increase in social grant will make a notable difference in the lives of its beneficiaries. R10 more will perhaps afford some of them an extra  tin of baby formula and to some this will be enough for a taxi fare to that new ‘happenin’ shebeen! South Africa as a country will benefit as well, more births mean the growth of our nation, right?  


  1. Notwithstanding the state's willingness to support what I call 'mothers without hope' intiative. As a people we have to look at the dynamics involed. The money comes from taxpayers (us). am I being 'un-pragmatic by suggesting that the taxpayers be given a platform to voice out their concerns ... in terms of where their hard-earned money should be evenly distributed. Who qualifies for a social grant, what milieu are they selected and sourced from? Should the incentive even come as a form of a stipend ... seeing that there is maladmnistration in the homefront? I believe that the provision is made as some sort of relief, to see to it that the infant atleast survives the harsh conditions, underwhich they are concieved in. Is it fair, taking into consideration the fact that the mother of the new born would rather satisfy her need to be, as you put it, 'wasted' ... all in the name of succumbing to societal pressures? to present an argument that the stipend come in the form of 'baby food and clothes' voucher which are not redeemable for cash and only limited to the baby's needs? because at the end of the day ... the provisions are soley there for the new life.

    Albeit, the mother sufers, I think it also discourages young girls who come from underpriveledged homes, to not engage in reckless behaviour. It might also encourage them to be proactive and look for work, or complete school.

    My argument is in light, and cognisance of the socio, economic and political situation in the country ... but we cannot bring the 'have and have-nots' debate into juxtaposition, lest there can never be any progress, and my premise about the aforementioned debate has always been that, 'how did the "haves" get there? We always say this, year in year out, that we, as a youth should be proactive and stay in school and work hard for a brighter future, where poverty and dispair will be foreign to us, but I think right now in 2011 its time for action, each man for himself (in a good, non-reckless, non-compromising way). We should not sit there with our arms folded and think that the nouveau riche are going to take pity on the working class and embark on the spirit of 'giving back to the community' (lightbulb: THEY ARE NOT) that shit is for celebrity interviews only, and even them (celebrities) say it to look good, or as a plight to improve their fickle vocabularies. We must wake up and smell 'intyorontyoro'! There can never be a better time to be a black youth in South Africa, than our time! Let us all capitalise in it, whatever sphere you're in capitalise on the fact that you are a young, black and gifted South African.

  2. Whew! you said it all Siya! You, know I think the underlying problems to the situation are:

    1.The 'mothers of hope' have a very dangerous impression that the government should be there to remedy they bad consequences of their foolish acts.

    2. A lot of people still think the government is there to look after them and bring them ways of survival on a silver platter.

    So I'm afraid, as unfortunate as it maybe, as long as well still have these kind of thinkers, the problem is still far from getting solved.

  3. Pro's and con's of the grant... noted. May God grant these girls wisdom!

  4. I totally agee, some of the kids dont even smell this grant money... i just think the should be some sort of rule...

  5. I think sometimes the girls see this as a reward for their 9 months pain. Which makes the kids suffer.

  6. R260 is not enough, especially in these days I think child support must only apply when you are 21 and above. In order to prevent teenage pregnancy.