“What the surveys cannot see is the extent to which families are stretched, with members spread across different households.
“Many absent parents see their children regularly and help to support them financially, even when they live elsewhere,” said Zitha Mokomane, an associate professor in the department of sociology at the University of Pretoria.
The different household dynamics made it challenging for the state to target services and benefits for children or their caregivers.
The report found that the child support grant, which was designed to follow the child, became difficult to achieve when administrative systems struggled to keep up with their movement and changing care arrangements.
Despite parents, guardians and caregivers having the primary responsibility to inform children about their rights, the state was the duty bearer.
The state must also provide families with the necessary protection and assistance in order to for them to fully assume their responsibilities.
“Given the large number of children in families who are too poor to provide even the basic entitlements to shelter, adequate nutrition, and other children’s rights, this is a huge responsibility for the state,” the report read.