South Africa can – and should – top up child support grants to avoid a humanitarian crisis

In this article published in The Conversation in March, Ihsaan Bassier, Josh Budlender, Prof. Murray Leibbrandt, Prof. Vimal Ranchhod and Rocco Zizzamia argued that South Africa’s lockdown will hit informal workers and their households hardest and that a top-up to the Child Support Grant was needed to mitigate this impact. Informal workers will suffer the most during the lockdown and without relief measures targeted at these workers’ households, the decline in earnings in the informal sector will have a devastating impact on poverty and food insecurity in South Africa. The authors used NIDS Wave 5 data in their analysis.

Read the article in The Conversation. The South African government has since announced a temporary top-up to the Child Support Grant in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the national lockdown and associated effects.





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Africa Check – Do half of men and a third of women in South Africa smoke?

Africa Check was asked to verify the share of smokers in South Africa given a claim that half of men and a third of women smoke in South Africa. In the course of researching this, Naphtali Khumalo was directed to consult the NIDS data. Similar to findings from the South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, NIDS showed that about a third of men and a tenth of women smoke tobacco in South Africa. This, together with characteristics of the survey which served as the source of the claim, led Africa Check to conclude that the claim was incorrect. Read the full article.

Illicit cigarettes

An article in the Financial Mail by Tim Cohen goes in depth about illicit cigarette trade and amongst other considerations, the effect they have on SARS revenue. The article cites research by Nicole Vellios, Corne van Walbeek and Hana Ross which used data from the All Media & Products Survey (Amps) for 2002 to 2011 and NIDS for the years thereafter. Amongst other findings, the research found that illicit trade in cigarettes made up 40% of the total cigarette market in 2017. Read more (available for BL Premium subscribers).

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