Earlier this month the world celebrated breastfeeding week. To improve infant nutrition by 2025, the United Nations set targets to eliminate malnutrition and increase breastfeeding rates to at least 50% – targets that South Africa also subscribes to. In South Africa, however, often mothers are poor, unemployed, and hungry – all factors impacting their ability to breastfeed and, ultimately, the nutrition their babies receive. As Women’s Month draws to a close, Refilwe Mochoari looked at the nuances of this challenge in the Free State, where mothers often face a litany of socio-economic challenges and asks how government can support these mothers better.
The South African Social Security Agency’s decision to suspend temporary disability grants in December left over 210 000 beneficiaries without an income – including some DR TB patients who rely on this grant to stay on treatment. Elri Voigt investigates.
Over 7 million caregivers and 13 million children have been plunged deeper into poverty as payouts of the R500 caregiver grant ended in October. While this top-up was discontinued, the COVID-19 Special Relief of Distress grant which reaches an estimated 6 million people was extended. In the final article of a six-part series on child hunger, Kathryn Cleary speaks to mothers, children and experts about the implications of these decisions about grants.
Early childhood development programmes have a huge role to play in the lives of young children, including in their nutrition. In the third part of a six-part series on child hunger, Kathryn Cleary investigates the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown on these programmes, and how some organisations are fighting for solutions.
During the strictest phases of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown, the South African Social Security Agency effectively stopped accepting new disability grant applications. Elri Voigt explores what happened and speaks to two applicants on the impact the disruptions have had on their lives.
Siyabonga Kamnqa visited shelters in Cape Town to chat to homeless people about their lives in the time of COVID-19 and under lockdown. He also asked government what they’ve done to assist and protect these vulnerable members of our society.
Findings from a large survey published today has revealed shocking statistics about the effects of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown on child and household hunger. Experts say children may be the pandemic’s greatest victims and the country’s progress towards ending hunger may have been reversed. Kathryn Cleary reports.
Already at an increased risk of serious COVID-19 illness, older persons in poor communities face an additional set of difficulties in staying safe and healthy. Siyabonga Kamnqa spoke to older people, experts, civil society organisations and government authorities on what can be done to protect older people.
While COVID-19 infections and deaths are rising among those older than 60 years, residential care facilities battle to keep residents safe. Elri Voigt investigates how care facilities are responding, whether they are getting the support they need from government and if the data on the situation in care homes provides a reliable picture.
A residential facility for older persons in the Western Cape this week recorded a COVID-19 related death, while a number of new infections were reported at another facility in the province. Elri Voigt asks whether everything is in place to protect our older persons from the expected surge in COVID-19 cases.
As most people in South Africa prepare for another week in their homes under South Africa’s national COVID-19 lockdown, Amy Green spoke to some of Johannesburg’s many homeless persons about why they choose life on the street over government shelters.
People living with mental illness are among the most vulnerable people in society and face widespread stigma. In our response to COVID-19, we must be sensitive to the needs of this group of people, writes Julia Chaskalson.