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The changing nature of work: The creation of a ‘working poor’ population in post-apartheid South Africa


  • Kolawole E Omomowo


The post-apartheid South African broad socioeconomic policy of economic growth, social justice and poverty alleviation will arguably suffer a setback if the growing rate of atypical employment is left unattended. Atypical (subcontracting) employment undermines job security and income levels and this breeds poverty. Labour law and workers' organisations are undermined by this flexible regime of capital accumulation, which can be viewed from the perspective of Marxist régulation theory and the notion of workers' structural and associational power. While ‘symbolic leverage’ is a useful and significant concept to help in understanding the regaining of workers' power at the margins, it is imperative that we start thinking of other complementary means of engaging with the assault on the social reproduction of the affected workers. Social justice seems to provide the core answer; however, the norms of the society should form its basis.

Suggested Citation

  • Kolawole E Omomowo, 2011. "The changing nature of work: The creation of a ‘working poor’ population in post-apartheid South Africa," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(5), pages 613-626, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:28:y:2011:i:5:p:613-626
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835X.2011.623906

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