THE Eastern Cape has the highest concentration of children, orphans and single-parent households, but spends less than three other provinces on welfare assistance.
According to the Financial and Fiscal Commission report on funding of child welfare services, which was tabled in parliament this week, there are about 18.1 million children in the country.
The Eastern Cape has the highest proportion of orphans with about 175000 children. The total population of children in the province is 2.6 million.
Acting chairman of the commission Bongani Khumalo said the survey highlighted that provinces were not prioritising services for children because it was considered a "soft target" when it came to budget allocations.
The report shows that in the Eastern Cape only 22% of children live with both parents.