South Africa is one of a small number of developing countries that’s formulated a national policy focused on families. A family policy, broadly defined, refers to everything a government does to promote the well-being of families, such as social grants, family services, or social housing. The country’s policy – known as the White Paper on Families – has three priorities. They are promoting healthy family life, strengthening the family and preserving the family.
UCT News [Nov. 20, 2018] -- More than 6 million of the country’s children regularly go hungry, with dire consequences for their capacity to thrive – or even survive – according to the 2018 South African Child Gauge, which urges the government to move swiftly to address the gaps in family services.
These children live below the food poverty line which, in real terms, means their families cannot provide even the minimum amount of nutrition they need.
Very few mothers in South Africa exclusively breastfeed for the first 6 months of life as recommended by the World Health Organisation – with only 1 in 4 babies exclusively breastfed by the time they are 4 – 5 months old. And these low exclusive breastfeeding rates contribute to the high prevalence of malnutrition, diarrhoea, pneumonia and under-five mortality in South Africa.