Household context and child mortality in rural South Africa: the effects of birth spacing, shared mortality, household composition and socio-economic status
Social protection grants play a critical role in survival and livelihoods of elderly individuals in South Africa. Rarely is it possible to assess how well a social program reaches its target population. Using a 2010 survey and Agincourt Health Demographic Surveillance System census data we conduct multivariate logistic regression to predict pension receipt in rural South Africa. We find only 80% of age-eligible individuals report pension receipt. Pension non-recipients tend to be male, have poor socio-economic status, live in smaller households, be of Mozambican origin, and have poorer physical function; while older persons living in households receiving other grants are more likely to report pension receipt. We conclude that a reservoir of older persons exists who meet eligibility criteria but who are not yet receiving pensions. Ensuring that they and their households are properly linked to all available social services--whether for child or old-age social grants--is likely to have beneficial and synergistic effects.