The fiscal cost of child grants in the context of high adult mortality in South Africa: A simulation to 2015
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Development Southern Africa
University of Cape Town
This paper investigates the expected costs of cash transfers to children in South Africa up to 2015. The child population is not expected to grow between 2008 and 2015 and thus the fiscal cost of the Child Support Grant is expected to stabilise in the near future. The other major child grant, the Foster Care Grant, is far less predictable – while it is not intended to be an orphan grant, three quarters of its beneficiaries are orphans. Because of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the number of dual orphans is expected to double between 2008 and 2015, reaching 1.3 million, and the overall number of orphans (maternal, paternal and dual) to reach 4.8 million by 2015. If the Foster Care Grant were to become a de facto orphan grant, its costs would escalate rapidly. The paper does not argue in favour of an orphan grant, but rather for greater effort in ensuring that the Child Support Grant reaches the neediest children, especially maternal orphans.