Expanding the Social Security Net in South Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Constraints
AbstractFor a large proportion of the South African population, social welfare grants are an important source of income. Since 2000, rapid increases in government expenditure on social security have further enhanced the contribution of welfare grants to the income of poor households and have thus been important in the fight against poverty. Given these apparent successes, many are calling for further expansions in social security provisioning, with the idea of developing conditional cash transfer schemes occasionally surfacing in policy circles. However, as we argue in this Country Study, there are various constraints to such expansions of the welfare net. Whereas in the past much of the increased expenditure on social security provisioning could be financed out of government revenue overruns, further increases are likely to be possible only through reallocation of government expenditures. There is already evidence of substitution taking place within the social budget since education and health expenditures have apparently declined in favour of increased welfare transfer expenditures. This trend, we argue, is untenable and may harm the already weak education and health services in South Africa. Conditional grants linked to school attendance and visits to health clinics would place further pressure on health and education services, as well as on the agencies responsible for disbursing and monitoring welfare payments in the country. We argue, therefore, that budgetary and service delivery constraints currently present a strong argument against expansion of the social welfare system in the immediate future.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth in its series Country Study with number 8.
Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published by UNDP - International Poverty Centre, July 2007, pages 1-38
Poverty; CCT; Inequality; South Africa; Opportunities; Challenges;
Other versions of this item:
- Kalie Pauw & Liberty Mncube, 2007. "Expanding the Social Security Net in South Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Constraints," Working Papers 07127, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
- H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
- O23 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Fiscal and Monetary Policy in Development
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Esther Duflo, 2003.
"Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old-Age Pensions and Intrahousehold Allocation in South Africa,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 17(1), pages 1-25, June.
- Esther Duflo, 2000. "Grandmothers and Granddaughters: Old Age Pension and Intra-household Allocation in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 8061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Servaas van der Berg, 2002. "Issues in South African Social Security," Working Papers 01/2002, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
- Servaas van der Berg & Ronelle Burger & Rulof Burger & Megan Louw & Derek Yu, 2005.
"Trends in poverty and inequality since the political transition,"
01/2005, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
- Servaas van der Berg & Ronelle Burger & Rulof Burger & Megan Louw & Derek Yu, 2006. "Trends in Poverty and Inequality since the Political Transition," Working Papers 06104, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
- Rawlings, Laura B., 2004. "A new approach to social assistance : Latin America's experience with conditional cash transfer programs," Social Protection Discussion Papers 30165, The World Bank.
- Case, A. & Deaton, A., 1996.
"Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa,"
176, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-61, September.
- Anne Case & Angus Deaton, 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," NBER Working Papers 5572, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Murray Leibbrandt & Laura Poswell & Pranushka & Matthew Welch & Ingrid Woolard, 2004.
"Measuring recent changes in South African inequality and poverty using 1996 and 2001 census data,"
SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers
084, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
- Murray Leibbrandt & Laura Poswell & Pranushka Naidoo & Matthew Welch & Ingrid Woolard, 2005. "Measuring Recent Changes in South African Inequality and Poverty using 1996 and 2001 Census Data," Working Papers 05094, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
- Fabio Veras Soares & Sergei Suarez Dillon Soares & Marcelo Medeiros & Rafael Guerreiro Osório, 2006. "Cash Transfer Programmes in Brazil: Impacts on Inequality and Poverty," Working Papers 21, International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth.
- Thurlow, James, 2002.
"Can South Africa afford to become Africa's first welfare state?,"
FCND discussion papers
139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Thurlow, James, 2002. "Can South Africa afford to become Africa's first welfare state?," FCND briefs 139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Das, Jishnu & Quy-Toan Do & Ozler, Berk, 2004. "Conditional cash transfers and the equity-efficiency debate," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3280, The World Bank.
- Haroon Bhorat & Morne Oosthuizen & Carlene van der Westhuizen, 2012.
"Estimating a poverty line: An application to free basic municipal services in South Africa,"
Development Southern Africa,
Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(1), pages 77-96, March.
- Haroon Bhorat & Morne Oosthuizen & Carlene Van Der Westhuizen, 2011. "Estimating a poverty line: An application to free basic municipal services in South Africa," Working Papers 11142, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
- Wiebelt, Manfred & Pauw, Karl & Matovu, John Mary & Twimukye, Evarist & Benson, Todd, 2011.
"Managing future oil revenue in Uganda for agricultural development and poverty reduction: A CGE analysis of challenges and options,"
IFPRI discussion papers
1122, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Manfred Wiebelt & Karl Pauw & John Mary Matovu & Evarist Twimukye & Todd Benson, 2011. "Managing Future Oil Revenues in Uganda for Agricultural Development and Poverty Reduction: A CGE Analysis of Challenges and Options," Kiel Working Papers 1696, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- Margaret Grosh & Carlo del Ninno & Emil Tesliuc & Azedine Ouerghi, 2008. "For Protection and Promotion : The Design and Implementation of Effective Safety Nets," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6582, March.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Andre Lyra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.