The Means to Live Project investigates the targeting aspect of selected poverty alleviation programmes relevant to socio-economic rights, and the consequences of this targeting for children. The government programmes examined are the Child Support Grant, the Housing Subsidy Scheme, the Free Basic Water policy, the No-Fee and School Fee Exemption policies, free primary health care and the National School Nutrition Programme.

The first phase of the project comprised a series of policy reviews on selected poverty alleviation programmes and their targeting. The second phase included primary research conducted in late 2005 and in 2006.

Since the completion of the research, the focus has been on dissemination, advocacy and litigation support. Preliminary findings were presented in the South African Child Gauge 2006 . Several presentations were made in important forums that brought government and civil society together.

The research evidence has also been used extensively in 2008 for litigation involving three different court cases. The litigation was aimed at improving the targeting of social assistance to children, in particular the Child Support Grant – a critical poverty alleviation programme which acts as a gateway to other forms of poverty alleviation, such as automatic fee waivers for education and hospital care.

The final research report is forthcoming.

The project is funded by Save the Children Sweden, with additional financial support from Save the Children UK and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

Further reading

The Means to Live. Targeting poverty alleviation to realise children's rights
Hall K, Leatt A & Rosa S 2009 [File size: 4.2 MB]

South African Child Gauge 2006: Children and poverty
Monson J, Hall K, Smith C & Shung-King M 2007 

The Means to Live discussion paper series (2005)

No better deal for children
Financial Mail [Online], 20/02/2009

Failure to extend child grant 'raises dropout risk'
Cape Times, 13/02/2009 p.6

Manuel contradicts ANC: rights group
The Star [Online], 13/02/2009

2009 budget receives varied reactions
BuaNews, 12/02/2009

Children's Institute disappointed in Manuel's decision on child support grant
Bush Radio News [Online], 12/02/2009

Trevor, Motlanthe 'praat nie uit dieselfde mond'
Beeld, 12/02/2009 p.4

Manuel failed children Business, 12/02/2009

'Manuel failed children', 11/02/2009

Government finally opens access to millions of children cut off from social security
Hall K 2008
Cape Times, 04 June 2008, p.9.

Adjusting the poverty line
Hall K 2008
The Mercury, 02 June 2008, p.6.

Workshop targets coherence of poverty alleviation programmes
Hall K 2008
Child Rights in Focus, Issue Number 7, March 2008

The same old story as Mbeki fails to tackle the state of poor teenagers
Proudlock P, Smith C & Jamieson L 2008
Cape Argus, 12 February 2008, p.13.

Children bear the brunt of poverty with little chance of escaping the cycle
Hall K & Monson J 2007 
Cape Argus, 16/10/2007, p.13.

How horror of poverty afflicts youth
Hall K & Monson J 2007 
Pretoria News, 15/10/2007, p.4.

Will there be help for older children?
Hall K & Jamieson L 2007 
The Star, 21/02/2007 p.35.

Signs of hope for our children in today’s Budget
Hall K & Jamieson L 2007 
Cape Argus, 21/02/2007, p.23.

The high school drop out rate is alarming
Hall K & Monson J 2007
Cape Times, 5/02/2007, p.11.

Help for Poor Children Ends Too Early, Says Review
Hall K & Monson J 2007, 5/02/2007, originally published in Cape Argus.

Falling through the cracks
Hall K & Monson J 2007 
Daily News, 2/02/2007, p.13.

Poverty threat to childhood survival
Leatt A & Hall K 2006 
The Mercury, 31/05/2006, p.9. 

Support only for doubly poor kids
Hall K 2006 
Business Day, 15/06/2006, p.13.