Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

Public works: Policy expectations and programme realities

Contents:

Author Info

  • Anna McCord

Abstract

This paper explores the ability of public works programmes (PWPs) to promote employment and reduce poverty. Public works are a key component of the current social protection framework in South Africa, constituting the only significant form of social support for the able-bodied working age unemployed, and are ascribed considerable potential in terms of addressing the central challenges of unemployment and poverty. Despite this policy prominence, the targeting of public works programmes and their micro-economic and labour market impacts have not been studied systematically in South Africa, rendering evidence-based policy development in this area problematic. This paper attempts to provide some initial responses to these questions in order to establish an evidence base for future policy development, and to identify some of the key policy lessons arising, drawing evidence from two case studies, the Gundo Lashu programme in Limpopo, and the Zibambele programme in KwaZulu Natal. The paper also reviews the policy context, and the characterisation of the unemployment problem in the policy discourse. The paper concludes that while PWPs can offer a partial response to the problems of poverty and unemployment if appropriately designed, the gap between policy expectation and programme reality is significant, and that PWPs cannot offer an adequate social protection response to the growing problem of the working age poor. The paper asserts that there is a need to recognise that PWPs can have only a limited role in the context of entrenched and structural unemployment, and that supply-side interventions are of limited value in response to poverty and unemployment among the low-skilled, given ongoing structural shifts in the South African economy and the delinking of economic growth and employment.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.saldru.uct.ac.za/home/index.php?/component/option,com_docman/Itemid,33/gid,209/task,doc_download/
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers with number 079.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:079

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Leslie Social Science Building, Private Bag, Rondebosch, 7701
Phone: +27 21 650 5696
Fax: +27 21 650 5697
Email:
Web page: http://www.saldru.uct.ac.za/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Hoddinott, John & Haddad, Lawrence, 1995. "Does Female Income Share Influence Household Expenditures? Evidence from Cote d'Ivoire," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 57(1), pages 77-96, February.
  2. H. Bhorat & J. Hodge, 1999. "Decomposing Shifts in Labour Demand in South Africa," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 67(3), pages 155-168, 09.
  3. Stephan Klasen, 1997. "Poverty, Inequality and Deprivation in South Africa: An Analysis of the 1993 SALDRU Survey," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 41(1), pages 51-94, July.
  4. Angus Deaton, 2005. "Measuring Poverty in a Growing World (or Measuring Growth in a Poor World)," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(1), pages 1-19, February.
  5. Cally Ardington & Murray Leibbrandt, 2004. "Financial Services and the Informal Economy," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 066, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  6. Datt, Gaurav & Ravallion, Martin, 1994. "Transfer Benefits from Public-Works Employment: Evidence for Rural India," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1346-69, November.
  7. Ingrid Woolard & Murray Leibbrandt, 1999. "Household Incomes, Poverty and Inequality in a Multivariate Framework," Working Papers 99031, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Andrea Buch & Alan B. Dixon, 2009. "South Africa's working for water programme: searching for win-win outcomes for people and the environment," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 17(3), pages 129-141.
  2. Martine Visser & Frikkie Booysen, 2004. "Determinants of the choice of health care facility utilised by individuals in HIV/AIDS-affected households in the Free State province of South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 087, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:079. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Alison Siljeur).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.