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SASSA’s big test: When will the emergency Covid-19 social grant be paid?
Tue, 19 May 2020 - 14:00

In another article, Jeremy Seekings examines the challenge facing the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) in delivering the new emergency covid-19 grant. The president announced this grant four weeks ago, and SASSA undertook to begin payments last Friday. But the challenges of setting up processes for applications, the verification and approval of these applications and then the payment to approved claimants are massive.

FaSRU Director, Elena Moore, publishes an article on ‘Covid-19 emergency child support grants’ in the Daily Maverick
Mon, 18 May 2020 - 10:15

In an article in the Daily Maverick, Elena Moore highlights how the State’s adoption of a R500 supplement per primary caregiver may exacerbate tensions when there are multiple co-caregivers. Despite the welcome relief for many primary caregivers, especially those who have one child — this relief comes with a significant real and social cost when there are multiple children and multiple co-caregivers. For more see:  Covid-19 emergency child support grants need flexibility to accommodate fluid caregiving

ASRU's Director, Rebecca Hodes, publishes an article on 'Bad medicine: the past and present toxic "cures" in the Daily Maverick
Tue, 12 May 2020 - 05:45

In this article, Rebecca Hodes (director of ASRU) recounts the recent comments by US President Donald Trump on the prospective uses of disinfectants, including by 'injection inside', to treat or prevent COVID-19. Through the lens of medical history, Hodes explores the past and present of toxic 'cures', both globally and in South Africa. She focuses on the history of household detergents to end unwanted pregnancies, and documents the ways in which the corporations that manufacture these chemicals have profited from their poisonous repurposing. Hodes also questions the role of political leaders in promoting dangerous curative claims, at critical junctures in pandemic histories. She focuses on the case of 'Virodene', in which South Africa's former Minister of Health, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, championed a toxic drug that was touted as an AIDS treatment, violating bioethical protocols and championing the experimentation of the drug on people with AIDS. Hodes concludes her article by stating: The COVID-19 pandemic is a new catastrophe, but some of its features are familiar, including the political and popular responses it has evoked. In remembering our mistakes, facing up to their legacies in the present, and scrutinising and refuting dangerous claims for the future, there is hope for improving public health in the wake of COVID-19.'

The article is available at: DAILY MAVERICK

ASRU Pictogram goes to virtual IAS2020
Tue, 05 May 2020 - 06:15

Lesley Gittings was awarded a scholarship to attend the 2020 International AIDS Conference (virtual) to present findings from an ASRU study, led by Dr Rebecca Hodes. She will present findings from a pictogram developed to support adolescents and young people living with HIV to adhere to ART. Her abstract, entitled 'Pill-takers and superheroes: Image preferences for an antiretroviral therapy adherence pictogram among young people living with HIV' is co-authored by colleagues at the University of Cape Town, Rhodes and Oxford. Stay tuned for more findings!

Covid-19 grant: We can learn from Namibia
Covid-19 grant: We can learn from Namibia
Thu, 30 Apr 2020 - 22:30

The President of South Africa announced on 21 April a new emergency Covid-19 grant to be paid to millions of South Africans. In a new article on GroundUp, Jeremy Seekings, Lena Gronbach and Nicoli Nattrass explain how the new grant can be implemented quickly, learning from the experience of neighbouring Namibia which is already rolling out its Emergency Income Grant. In Namibia, one in five people had applied for the grant and one in three of them had received a payment within one week of the grant being announced! Crucially, there is no means-test, with applications verified through comparison with the existing taxpayer and social grant databases. South Africa can do likewise.

Covid-19: Ramaphosa’s plan is good, but the budget is insufficient: Seekings
Fri, 24 Apr 2020 - 05:45

In an article on GroundUp, Jeremy Seekings dissects the proposed temporary reforms to social grants announced on 21 April by President Ramaphosa. Jeremy argues that the package is well designed in principle, encompassing diverse grants to reach as many individuals as possible rather than relying on a single programme that reaches only selected adults. But the envisaged budget is insufficient to cover the proposed reforms.

Accelerate Hub: Hosted A seminar with Dr Alude HSRC
Fri, 24 Apr 2020 - 05:30

Dr Alude Mahali, Senior Research Specialist presented a seminar  on the 25 of February 2020 tilted:  Social Network Interviewing: A Southern methodological innovation that aims at maximising emancipation- hosted by Accelerate Hub, Centre for Social Science Research.

FaSRU researchers Nonzuzo Mbokazi and Elena Moore write about CSG grants and informally employed mothers
Thu, 23 Apr 2020 - 05:45

In a recent article in the Daily Maverick, Nonzuzo Mbokazi (PhD candidate) and Elena Moore write about how the Covid-19 pandemic will deepen existing glaring racial disparities among children. As children’s access to resources varies dramatically by race, this article looks specifically at the situation of children and informal worker households.

Power FM Podcast on Old Age Grant Receiving Households and Covid-19
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 - 05:30

Elena Moore, Director of FaSRU talks on the Thabiso Kotane show about the vulnerabilities of old age grant receiving households during the pandemic. She outlines the reasons for added burden that old age grant receiving households may face when Covid-19 enters the household. More importantly she recommends specific relief that the government should introduce to ensure the financial well-being of the household during the pandemic and recovery. Power FM Podcast on Old Age Grant Receiving Households and Covid-19

Covid-19 and the impact on care and money in multi-generational households
Tue, 21 Apr 2020 - 05:15

In a three-part series on the dynamics of Covid-19 on care and money within households, Professor Elena Moore unpacks thorny issues in intergenerational relationships, responsibilities and obligations. She outlines care-giving and financial challenges families face. This first article looks specifically at challenges in old age grant-receiving households. The second article examines the challenges that are faced in multi-generational households headed by women in employment. The third article looks more broadly at the family dynamics and challenges that are arising more broadly in multi-generational household. The series argues that different households will face unique challenges and that government support needs to include a wider range of relief at the household level to cater for the range of challenges that are experienced. Whilst supporting a broader call for an increase in child support grants and household relief more broadly, Elena recommends relief specifically for old age grant receiving households.


COVID-19 Parenting Tips:Billions of children are out of school: here's how to cope
Mon, 20 Apr 2020 - 05:45

With 1.5 billion children now out of school  - nearly 91% of all enrolled children in the world – parents and carers across the globe are rapidly coming to terms with the challenges of parenting in the time of COVID-19. Parenting is made harder by uncertainty, stress and economic hardship.

We, Accelerate Hub, together with Parenting for Lifelong Health, the World Health Organization, UNICEF and other international partners have produced a set of 6 one-page tips for parents which cover planning one-on-one time, staying positive, creating a daily routine, avoiding bad behaviour, managing stress, and talking about COVID-19. These downloadable tips, also available on the World Health Organization  and UNICEF websites, contain great advice condensed from the non-commercial and evidence-based Parenting for Lifelong Health parenting programmes. 

The COVID-19 Parenting tips are currently being translated into 70 languages. 49 languages are available here on covid19parenting.com with new languages added daily. Please share these tips with those who might find them helpful.