SEPARATING SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES AND SOCIAL WELFARE GRANTS: CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
AbstractAs a consequence of the fundamental reconstruction and development processes, including alarge-scale macroeconomic stabilisation strategy, South Africa’s economic growth hasconsistently averaged 3% over the last decade. It is expected that the government’s newAccelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) will increase theeconomic growth rate from its current level to 4.5% by 2010 and 6% by 2014 (Yemek, 2006).Yet with the majority of its citizens living in poverty (with less than $1 per day), South Africaremains one of the most unequal societies in the world (Statistics South Africa, 2004).Although there has been some improvement over the last decade, the stubborn legacy ofapartheid persists and can be seen in the concentration of poverty and underdevelopment inblack communities. Twenty four million of South Africa’s population of 45 million are blackfemales who live below the poverty datum line (Statistics South Africa, 2004). Using theexpanded definition of unemployment, Statistics South Africa (2004) estimated that 41% ofthe economically active population was unemployed in 2004. There is, therefore, growingconcern that the strategies employed thus far to raise the unacceptably low standards of livingof South Africa’s vulnerable populations, who continue to lack access to basic services andemployment opportunities, are lagging far behind what is needed.
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