The child support grant and teenage childbearing in South Africa
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This paper examines data on teenage fertility and patterns of uptake of the Child Support Grant in South Africa from 1998 to 2005, to assess how far this Grant is associated with the trend in teenage childbearing. Teenage fertility was fairly high during the 1980s when state financial assistance to teenage mothers did not adequately serve the majority of South Africans. Since the first half of the
1990s, however, teenage fertility has steadily declined. This trend was already underway when the grant was expanded in 1998 to reach beneficiaries in all sub-groups of the national population. If teenage girls were having children primarily to benefit from the Child Support Grant, then more would be making claims than is in fact the case. The findings of this study do not suggest any
significant positive association between the grant and the trend in teenage childbearing in South Africa during the past decade.