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Granting Justice: Cash, Care, and the Child Support Grant

Tessa Hochfeld
Granting Justice: Cash, Care, and the Child Support Grant
ISBN: 978-0-7969-2620-3
2022/182 pages
Distributed for HSRC Press
"Granting Justice takes issue with the characterization of the South African state as 'developmental."... Tessa Hochfeld approached the grant system from the bottom up. She was interested in how women defined their own needs, rather than how these were defined by the state, and whether cash made an impact on their decisionmaking within households.... [Her book] offers a significant contribution to debates on societal arrangements regarding care and justice."—Vivienne Bozalek, University of the Western Cape

"By diving deeply into poor women's lives while keeping a steady eye on feminist theories, Tessa Hochfeld guides us in the debates on the implications of child support grants for female recipients in South Africa.... She concludes that the South African state, while offering cash grants for its poor children (the majority of all South African children), fails to invest systematically in poor children's futures, thereby not only limiting the impact of the grant, but also continuing injustice."—Trudie Knijn, Utrecht University


Inspired by the scholarship of US critical theorist and feminist Nancy Fraser, Granting Justice draws on the stories of six South African women who rely on financial assistance programs for their, and their children's, survival. Hochfeld’s pathbreaking study dives deeply into issues of both social and gender justice—and shows how institutional failure can affect individual lives.


Tessa Hochfeld (1972-2019) was associate professor at the Centre for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg.


  • The Child Support Grant: Hopes for a Transformative Agenda.
  • "Please, Sir, May I Have Some More?" Social Justice and the Politics of Redistribution.
  • Narrative Without Stories, Stories Without Narrative.
  • A "Hand-Up," Not a "Hand-Out."
  • The More You Need, the Less Deserving You Are: Nandi's Story of Poverty.
  • Choosing Between Security and Freedom: Households and Cash.
  • Social Justice: We Need Cash and Care.