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Effectiveness of the indigent support policy on food insecurity in South Africa: Experiences from Matatiele Local Municipality

Heliyon

Ngarava, S.

August 2023

The indigent and societally vulnerable have compromised capacities to achieve their full welfare potential. This necessitates polices that can cushion them, such as the indigent support policy in South Africa. However, there is little acknowledgement on the welfare effects of community and contextually derived support policies. The study seeks an understanding of the effectiveness of the indigent support policy on food insecurity in Matatiele Local Municipality, South Africa, using a cross sectional survey of a purposively selected sample of 549 households. Food insecurity, determinants of awareness and beneficiation as well as effectiveness from the policy are assessed through the Household Food In-Access Scale (HFIAS), Heckman two step model and Propensity Score Matching (PSM), respectively. Households are found to be food secure, with awareness and beneficiation from the indigent policy being affected by duration of stay, employment status, location, tenure, total monthly income, monthly food expenditure and food insecurity status. To add, the indigent support policy has a positive impact on food security. In conclusion, there is food security partly due to indigent support with beneficiation affected by various socio-economic factors. There is need to compliment indigent support products to include food products and promote the policy to increase awareness. Furthermore, there is need to capacitate and coordinate policy making to target food insecure households to augment and magnify the positive effects of indigent support.

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