Early childbearing in the context of the child support grant

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A case study of young women in Mtubatuba

Although teenage pregnancy appears to be on the decline in South Africa, it is still high and a matter of heated debates.

Some commentators argue that the Child Support Grant (CSG) is fuelling the high levels of early childbearing.

In order to investigate this relationship further, qualitative data using in-depth interviews was conducted with recipients of the child support grant.

The study was conducted in Mtubatuba, located in northern KwaZulu-Natal.

The majority of women from this study denied that there is a relationship between the CSG and early childbearing.

They pointed out that the grant was minimal; therefore they did not believe that one can have a child in order to access the grant due to high cost of living in South Africa.

Women from the study argue that there are various factors that contribute to early childbearing.

Lack of access to reproductive health services such as contraceptives, peer pressure and intergenerational relationships were some of the factors mentioned in the study.

Addressing the need for age appropriate and youth friendly health services should be an important priority for government.

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