SOCIAL SERVICES IN CAPE TOWN: AN ANALYSIS USING THE POLITICAL ETHICS OF CARE
AbstractAt the time of South Africa’s transition to a constitutional democracy in 1994 the African National Congress (ANC) government inherited a deeply divided racially-based social welfare service system. Accordingly, the first priority of the newly elected government was to develop social policies to address the inequalities resulting from the apartheid period and to redirect resources to previously disadvantaged groups, especially black South Africans, since the white community had been the main beneficiaries of specialised professional services and institutional care (Bozalek, 1999; Follentine, 2004; Orner, 2003; Sevenhuijsen, Bozalek, Gouws & Minnaar-McDonald, 2003a; Republic of South Africa, 1997). The ANC’s election manifesto, its Reconstruction and Development (RDP) policy, had committed the government to a number of strategies to meet people’s basic needs and to alleviate poverty and inequality, among them were employment creation; a living wage for all citizens; the democratisation of state structures; housing provision; and land redistribution (Republic of South Africa, 1994). The Constitution reinforced these commitments in its recognition of socio-economic rights, including the rights to adequate housing, health care, food, water, education and social security. The Human Rights Commission and other independent bodies, such as the Gender Commission, were set up by the Constitution to monitor human rights violations. There were expectations that social services would deliver on the social and economic rights outlined in the South African Constitution (1996) within the available resource constraints (Republic of South Africa, 2006).
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