fb

South Africa must focus on its kids to meet UN development goals targets

By: Winnie Sambu, University of Cape Town and Lucy Jamieson, University of Cape Town

File 20180621 137708 1d4r4ng.jpg?ixlib=rb 1.1
South Africa needs to invest more in early childhood development.
US Air Force/Staff Sgt. Debbie Lockhart

 

There have been several vast improvements in the lives of South Africa’s children in recent years. Close to 90% of children now have access to electricity – up from 72% in 2003. About 12% of children live below the international poverty line of USD$ 1.25 a day, down from 43% in 2003.

But amid this progress there are also striking inequalities. Compared to their urban peers, children in rural areas are more likely to live in households with high unemployment levels and inadequate facilities. For example more than 90% of children in urban areas have access to clean drinking water at home. But for those in rural areas, this figure sits at 39%.

Similarly, more than a third (34%) of children still live in households where biofuels are used for cooking, heating or lighting. This increases their risk of poor health now and in future, particularly if they’re also living in overcrowded conditions.

These were some of the findings from the latest Child Gauge, a publication we have been releasing since 2005 to monitor South Africa’s progress towards realising children’s rights.

For the 2017 edition of the gauge, we concentrated on how South Africa is doing to improve children’s lives in relation to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There are 17 goals with more than 160 targets to end poverty, improve health, education, sanitation and access to water and reduce inequalities. Although none of the goals exclusively address children’s needs, most targets are either directly or indirectly related to children.

Our overall evaluation is that South Africa has made significant progress with some targets. But it’s still lagging far behind with others.

Take for example the preventable deaths of newborns and children under the age of five. The number of babies dying within the first 28 days of life sits at 12 for every 1000 babies born. This is in line with the target linked to SDG three.

But for every 1000 children that are born, 37 still die before the age of five from preventable causes, including diarrhoea. The goal is to reduce this to 25 deaths for every 1000 births.

There are still 12 years to go before the sustainable development goals are finalised. For South Africa to meet the targets it must focus on providing evidence based programmes for the most vulnerable and accelerate access to essential services.

A knock on effect

Poverty is the main underlying cause for the striking inequalities that are evident in children’s lives. Poverty means many South African children live in households that battle food insecurity and hunger. And these issues, often in tandem with inadequate child care and feeding practices, unhealthy living conditions and poor access to health care services, leads to high under-nutrition rates.

Under-nutrition, in turn, leads to children eventually being stunted, which means they’re too short for their age. Stunting remains stubbornly high in South Africa, affecting 27% of children younger than five.

Stunting takes more than just a physical toll. It also compromises children’s capacity to learn, their long-term health and their employment prospects later in life. There are also inter-generational effects: women who are stunted are more likely to give birth to infants with low birth weight, who are then at risk of stunting.

Malnutrition costs African economies billions of dollars. In South Africa, stunting costs the country an estimated R62 billion each year.

Change must come

Tackling the challenges around poverty, under-nutrition, stunting and access to water and sanitation to achieve the SDGs needs sustained government investment and policy change. These should lead to the implementation of strong, effective government programmes.

Ending stunting, for example, requires government to strengthen the public health care system and to improve access to primary health care. But it also needs government to train community health workers to detect and deal with infections early.

Improving food security would need programmes that give pregnant women and young children improved access to diverse and nutritious foods. It would also require programmes that encourage and provide mothers with necessary support for exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of their children’s lives.

In addition, parents and caregivers need family support, parenting programmes, community based services and practical support such as maternity leave, child care and social assistance.

Various challenges and constraints stand in the way. These include lack of financial and human resources to implement the SDGs, as well as the capacity to monitor and evaluate the programmes that are put in place. South Africa is not alone in this: many developing countries face the same dilemma.

Fiscal constraints remain a big challenge, particularly for low-income countries, and for middle-income countries like South Africa where there are competing national interests.

Investing in children

It’s crucial for South Africa to invest more in early childhood development, particularly in education, health, nutrition, violence prevention, reading, and inclusive services.

The ConversationWithout these investments South Africa will struggle to meet the sustainable development goals in 12 years time – and it will continue to fail too many of its children.

Winnie Sambu, Research Officer, University of Cape Town and Lucy Jamieson, Senior Researcher at the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town

This article was originally published on The Conversation.

    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    Don’t miss out on the latest local news, interviews and competitions.

    Receive the latest news

    Subscribe To Our Newsletter

    THE KAYA 959 APP NOW AVAILABLE

    DOWNLOAD YOURS NOW

    Copyright Notice

    1. COPYRIGHT

    1.1 The contents of this Website, including but not limited to its compilation and arrangement, is the exclusive property of Kaya 959, alternatively the suppliers of content to Kaya 959, and accordingly remain protected by South African and International Copyright and Trademark laws.

    1.2 Any person accessing this Website, may not, save for downloading one copy for their personal computers and solely for their private and non-commercial use :

    1.2.1 Copy, disseminate, distribute, advertise, publish, adapt, modify or in any way reproduce the contents of this website for commercial purposes, unless this notice and any disclaimer attached thereto is published in its entirety, or unless the permission of Kaya 959 is obtained in writing.

    Privacy Policy

    THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT FORMS PART OF KAYA 959’S TERMS OF USE POLICY. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE WITH ANY TERM OF THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT, YOU MUST CEASE YOUR ACCESS OF THIS WEBSITE IMMEDIATELY. 

    POPIA ActTo promote the protection of personal information processed by public and private bodies; to introduce certain conditions so as to establish minimum requirements for the processing of personal information; to provide for the establishment of an Information Regulator to exercise certain powers and to perform certain duties and functions in terms of this Act and the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000; to provide for the issuing of codes of conduct; to provide for the rights of persons regarding unsolicited electronic communications and automated decision making; to regulate the flow of personal information across the borders of the Republic; and to provide for matters connected therewith.

    RECOGNISING THAT—

    • section 14 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, provides that everyone has the right to privacy;
    • the right to privacy includes a right to protection against the unlawful collection, retention, dissemination and use of personal information;
    • the State must respect, protect, promote and fulfil the rights in the Bill of Rights;

    AND BEARING IN MIND THAT—

    • consonant with the constitutional values of democracy and openness, the need for economic and social progress, within the framework of the information society, requires the removal of unnecessary impediments to the free flow of information, including personal information;

    AND IN ORDER TO—

    • regulate, in harmony with international standards, the processing of personal information by public and private bodies in a manner that gives effect to the right to privacy subject to justifiable limitations that are aimed at protecting other rights and important interests,
    1. Definitions and Interpretation

    1.1.“Personal Information” means information relating to an identifiable, living, natural person and where it is applicable, identifiable, existing juristic person, including all information as defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013. 

    1.2  Parliament assented to POPIA on 19 November 2013. The commencement date of section 1Part A of Chapter 5section 112 and section 113 was 11 April 2014. The commencement date of the other sections was 1 July 2020 (with the exception of section 110 and 114(4). The President of South Africa has proclaimed the POPI commencement date to be 1 July 2020.

     
    1.3. “Processing” means the creation, generation, communication, storage, destruction of personal information as more fully defined in the Protection of Personal Information Act 4 of 2013.  

    1.4. “You” or the “user” means any person who accesses and browses this website for any purpose. 

    1.4. “Website” means the website of the KAYA 959 at URL www.kaya959.co.za or such other URL as KAYA 959 may choose from time to time.   

    1. Status and Amendments

    2.1. KAYA 959 respects your privacy. This privacy policy statement sets out KAYA 959’s information gathering and dissemination practices in respect of the Website. 

    2.2. This Privacy Policy governs the processing of personal information provided to KAYA 959 through your use of the Website. 

    2.3. Please note that, due to legal and other developments, KAYA 959 may amend these terms and conditions from time to time.  

    1. Processing of Personal Information

    3.1. By providing your personal information to KAYA 959 you acknowledge that it has been collected directly from you and consent to its processing by KAYA 959. 

    3.2. Where you submit Personal Information (such as name, address, telephone number and email address) via the website (e.g. through completing any online form) the following principles are observed in the processing of that information: 

    3.2.1. KAYA 959 will only collect personal information for a purpose consistent with the purpose for which it is required. The specific purpose for which information is 
    collected will be apparent from the context in which it is requested. 

    3.2.2. KAYA 959 will only process personal information in a manner that is adequate, relevant and not excessive in the context of the purpose for which it is processed. 

    3.2.3. Personal information will only be processed for a purpose compatible with that for which it was collected, unless you have agreed to an alternative purpose in writing or KAYA 959 is permitted in terms of national legislation of general application dealing primarily with the protection of personal information. 

    3.2.4. KAYA 959 will keep records of all personal Information collected and the specific purpose for which it was collected for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.5. KAYA 959 will not disclose any personal information relating to you to any third party unless your prior written agreement is obtained or KAYA 959 is required to do so by law. 

    3.2.6. If personal information is released with your consent KAYA 959 will retain a record of the information released, the third party to which it was released, the reason for the release and the date of release, for a period of 1 (one) year from the date on which it was last used. 

    3.2.7. KAYA 959 will destroy or delete any personal information that is no longer needed by KAYA 959 for the purpose it was initially collected, or subsequently processed. 

    3.3. Note that, as permitted by the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act 25 of 2002, KAYA 959 may use personal information collected to compile profiles for statistical purposes. No information contained in the profiles or statistics will be able to be linked to any specific user.    

    1. Collection of anonymous data

    4.1. KAYA 959 may use standard technology to collect information about the use of this website. This technology is not able to identify individual users but simply allows KAYA 959 to collect statistics. 

    4.2. KAYA 959 may utilise temporary or session cookies to keep track of users’ browsing habits. A cookie is a small file that is placed on your hard drive in order to keep a record of your interaction with this website and facilitate user convenience. 

    4.2.1. Cookies by themselves will not be used to identify users personally but may be used to compile identified statistics relating to use of services offered or to provide KAYA 959 with feedback on the performance of this website. 

    4.2.2. The following classes of information may be collected in respect of users who have enabled cookies: 

    4.2.2.1. The browser software used; 

    4.2.2.2. IP address; 

    4.2.2.3. Date and time of activities while visiting the website; 

    4.2.2.4. URLs of internal pages visited; and 

    4.2.2.5. referrers. 

    4.3. If you do not wish cookies to be employed to customize your interaction with this website it is possible to alter the manner in which your browser handles cookies. Please note that, if this is done, certain services on this website may not be available. 

    1. Security

    5.1. KAYA 959 takes reasonable measures to ensure the security and integrity of information submitted to or collected by this website, but cannot under any circumstances be held liable for any loss or other damage sustained by you as a result of unlawful access to or dissemination of any personal information by a third party. 

    1. Links to other websites

    6.1. KAYA 959 has no control over and accepts no responsibility for the privacy practices of any third party websites to which hyperlinks may have been provided and KAYA 959 strongly recommends that you review the privacy policy of any website you visit before using it further. 

    1. Queries

    7.1. If you have any queries about this privacy policy please contact us by emailing [email protected] 

    Competition Terms and Conditions

    • The competitions are open to all persons over the age of 18 years; except directors, partners, employees, agents, service providers, and consultants of Kaya 959, the sponsor and all its subsidiaries and its holding company, if any, as well as all spouses, life partners, parents, children, siblings, business partners and associates of such persons.

    • The outcome of the competition is subject to the decision of the judge/presenter, whose decision is final and no negotiation will be entered into thereafter. Neither Kaya 959, sponsors nor their agents will be held responsible or answerable to any dispute arising from the competition or prize awards.

    • Participants/listeners enter or take part in competitions at their own risk and Kaya 959 bears no responsibility for any loss, damage or harm suffered as a result of participation in any of Kaya 959 competition.

    • One listener is entitled to winning one prize in a period of 3 months. Kaya 959 reserves the right not to award a prize if the listener has won a prize prior during the 3 month window period. This also applies to listeners who provide family or friend’s contact details.

    • Kaya 959 reserves the right to redistribute all unclaimed prizes if not claimed after 3 months after being given away On Air or on the website.

    • Prizes are not transferable and may not be exchanged for cash.

    • Finalists will forfeit their participation in the competition if they fail to attend the draws.

    • The competition will run during the period advertised on Kaya 959; entries received outside of the competition period will not be considered for the competition draw.

    • Kaya 959 and their sponsors reserve the right to cancel, modify or amend the competition at any time if deemed necessary in their opinion, or if circumstances arise outside of their control.

    • By entering the competition, entrants agree to accept these rules and to be bound by them.