Missing links?: an examination of the contributions made by Social Surveys to our understanding of child well-being in South Africa

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University of Cape Town

The aim of this paper is to examine the available data on children's lives in South Africa in order to see whether we have the necessary tools to trace changes in child poverty and well-being over time, and to link these changes to broader social, political and economic trends. The analysis offered in this paper is important not only in terms of understanding the factors that currently influence the lives of almost half of South Africa's population, but also in terms of gaining insight into the links between child poverty and adult poverty, and the opportunities that exist to break the poverty cycle. Before addressing these concerns, I set the scene by briefly describing the major developments in the social sciences and in social development policy with respect to the study of children and childhood.