Skip to Content

Poor black rural child. Stock photo from Pixabay

Destitute children: The terrible legacy of South Africa’s black rule

More than six out of ten children are identified as multidimensionally poor, according to a report on Child Poverty in South Africa released by Statistics South Africa. The report gives an in-depth analysis of the Living Conditions Survey that was conducted in 2015.

Published: February 6, 2021, 10:51 am

    Read more


    In 2015, the South African population was estimated at 55 million people, of which 19,7 million were children aged less than 18 years (0–17). According to a new report released by Statistics South Africa, Child poverty in South Africa: A Multiple Overlapping Deprivation Analysis, more than 6 out of 10 (62,1 percent) children aged 0–17 years were multidimensionally poor.

    Children experience poverty very differently from adults because they have to depend on others to meet their needs. They rarely have control over household finances and they usually do not have the power to make decisions for their day-to-day lives. As such, child poverty needs to be measured differently from the rest of the population.

    The monetary approach to poverty has traditionally been used to identify poor children. A child is identified as poor if he/she lives in a household whose income or expenditure is below a given poverty line. Even when a household has an adequate level of income they may not necessarily redistribute the resources appropriately within the household according to the specific needs of each of its members. Since children are not the decision-makers in the household, this is of significant importance.

    While money is only one dimension of poverty, especially for children, what is multidimensional child poverty? A child is said to be multidimensionally poor when they are living in households where they are deprived of at least three out of seven dimensions of poverty (Health, Housing, Nutrition, Protection, Education, Information, Water and Sanitation).

    Higher levels of multidimensional child poverty were found in provinces that are predominantly black rural areas, i.e. Limpopo (82,8 percent), Eastern Cape (78,7 percent) and KwaZulu-Natal (75,8 percent) compared to rates in provinces that are predominantly urban, i.e. Gauteng (33,6 percent) and Western Cape (37,1 percent). Gauteng, Western Cape, Northern Cape and Free State had multidimensional poverty rates lower than the national average of 62,1 percent. Similarly, multidimensional child poverty rates were higher in non-metropolitan areas compared to metropolitan areas. The rate of multidimensional child poverty in non-metropolitan (73,7 percent) areas was almost double that of metropolitan areas (39,6 percent) in 2015.

    Black African children were more likely to be in multidimensional poverty compared to children of other population groups. There was a difference of about 57 percentage points between the multidimensional poverty rate of black African children (68,3 percent) and that of white children (11,5 percent). Indian/Asian and coloured children, respectively had 16,8 percent and 37,9 percent multidimensional child poverty rates.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    ‘Who are the great apes?’ French school in Morocco stirs up controversy

    CasablancaConfusion, anger, incomprehension… The parents of students at the French primary school Ernest Renan in Morocco were somewhat taken aback. On Thursday March 25, their children received a peculiar science exercise.

    Ahmed Maiteeq: Is he the newcomer and future leader of Libya?

    TripoliAfter a period of failed Tunisian negotiations under the auspices of the UN and UNSMIL's Stephanie Williams, which led to discord among the participants and exacerbated relations between the Government of National Accord (GNA) and Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA), there is renewed hope in Libya for the gradual restoration of constructive dialogue through economic arrangements.

    ‘Economic terrorism’: Attacks on foreign truck drivers intensify in South Africa

    PretoriaIn South Africa, in recent weeks, dozens of trucks have been set on fire with Molotov cocktails, cargoes looted, drivers injured, killed, in a fresh wave of particularly brutal attacks. The road transport industry is "under siege", according to the South African press. Most of the assaulted drivers are foreigners.

    Libya: Bashagha’s career puts Europe at risk

    TripoliA criminal Libyan politician and his Islamist gang are getting ready to run the country and threating the West and Europe. How did that happen?

    Fathi Bashagha: An ambitious radical seeking to seize power in Libya

    France and the United States may want to support him, but the price will be a new round of escalation in the conflict.

    Radicals among the radicals – Libya’s new leadership may even be more radical, Islamist

    TunisThe UN-recognized Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) is often criticized for its links to radical political Islam.

    Is the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum an instrument of American neocolonialism?

    TunisThe Libyan Political Dialogue Forum started on November 9 in Tunisia. This forum was organized by the UN Support Mission to Libya (UNSMIL) headed by Stephanie Williams, former US chargé d'affaires in Libya.

    Farmers say horrific murder in Free State could have been prevented

    PretoriaFarmers in the Eastern Free State say the horrific murder of Brendin Horner could have been prevented if a detailed report had been considered in which the suspected members of transnational stock theft syndicates had been identified.

    South Africa: Two farm attacks in two days, farm manager tortured and killed

    Paul RouxIt is clear that a slow war is being fought against South Africa's white farmers and this slow racial war is increasingly also being taken to towns and cities. The murder of a white farm manager, Brendin Horner (21), serves as proof that the South African government’s rural safety plan is failing.

    The man of the future in Libya?

    The oil deal in Libya discloses the rampant fight for power and oncoming political changes.

    Go to archive