Read e-book online Policy, Politics and Poverty in South Africa PDF

By Jeremy Seekings, Nicoli Nattrass, Kasper

Seekings and Nattrass clarify why poverty persevered in South Africa after the transition to democracy in 1994. The publication examines how public guidelines either mitigated and reproduced poverty, and explains how and why those rules have been followed. The research deals classes for the learn of poverty in different places on the planet.

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Read e-book online Policy, Politics and Poverty in South Africa PDF

Seekings and Nattrass clarify why poverty continued in South Africa after the transition to democracy in 1994. The e-book examines how public guidelines either mitigated and reproduced poverty, and explains how and why those regulations have been followed. The research bargains classes for the learn of poverty in different places on the planet.

Extra resources for Policy, Politics and Poverty in South Africa

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Taxes paid disproportionately by the rich are used to finance public education, health care and other services for the poor and even cash payments for those seen to be the ‘deserving poor’. These serve to reduce income poverty in the advanced capitalist countries of the global North, although the extent varies considerably between countries (EspingAndersen, 1990; Huber and Stephens, 2001). In South Africa, the provision of old-age pensions (and, to a lesser extent, other forms of social assistance) served to mitigate poverty among white and coloured people from the 1920s, and (very modestly) among African and Indian people from the 1940s.

It was the rapid growth of the tertiary sector that drove economic growth. The policies of the post-apartheid state shaped the growth path primarily by shaping growth within sectors, only indirectly affecting the balance between them. Under strong pressure from organized labour, and in the face of acquiescence on the part of capital, the state promoted a ‘high-wage, high-productivity’ growth path. Labour market policies emphasized high wages and benefits, which could only be achieved if labour productivity was increased through more capital- and skill-intensive production.

In general, however, the study of social democratic institutions and practices was submerged in the general preoccupation with ‘neoliberalism’ that swept through the study of South Africa. In 2005, Alan Hirsch – at the time the Chief Director of Economic Policy in the Presidency – published a critical defence of government policy in which he argued that the ANC government had ‘followed a consistent economic philosophy’ based around ‘a social democratic approach to social reform’. This approach, he wrote, saw the state as responsible for ‘underwriting’ the reduction of poverty and inequality, ‘but with a firmly entrenched fear of the risks of personal dependency on the state and of the emergence of entitlement attitudes’ (2005: 3).

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