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Half Measures: The ANC's Unemployment and Poverty Reduction Goals

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  • Charles Meth

    () (University of KaZulu-Natal)

Abstract

Simulations suggest that under the most optimistic conditions, halving the official rate of unemployment would require 3.7 million jobs to be created between 2004 and 2014. Halving the number of expanded unemployed under pessimistic assumptions about the growth rate of the economically active would require 11 million jobs in the same period. Unlike unemployment, poverty levels can, through the social security system, be directly affected by government. One of the goals of the United Nations Millennium Declaration is to halve absolute poverty (defined, in the absence of a national poverty line, as being below $1(US)/day). In the first place, there is no agreed poverty line. Given the margin of ignorance in the data examined, it is probably impossible to say much about poverty headcounts, rates or gaps at the poverty line chosen to denote absolute poverty. As the poverty line is raised, the number of poor stabilises at a high level (roughly 20 million). It shows little sensitivity to increases in the assumed values of the social wage.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Meth, 2004. "Half Measures: The ANC's Unemployment and Poverty Reduction Goals," Working Papers 04089, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
  • Handle: RePEc:ctw:wpaper:04089
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    File URL: http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za/sites/default/files/image_tool/images/36/DPRU%20WP04-089.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_poverty_mdg.pdf is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Peter Saunders, 1998. "Defining Poverty and Identifying the Poor: Reflections on the Australian Experience," Discussion Papers 0084, University of New South Wales, Social Policy Research Centre.
    3. Angus Deaton, 2003. "How to Monitor Poverty for the Millennium Development Goals," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, pages 353-378.
    4. repec:pri:rpdevs:deaton_poverty_mdg is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Snower, Dennis J, 1995. "Evaluating Unemployment Policies: What Do the Underlying Theories Tell Us?," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(1), pages 110-135, Spring.
    6. Anna McCord, 2004. "Policy Expectations and Programme Reality: The Poverty Reduction and Labour Market Impact of Two Public Works Programmes in South Africa," Working Papers 8, Economics and Statistics Analysis Unit (ESAU), Overseas Development Institute.
    7. Clemens, Michael A. & Kenny, Charles J. & Moss, Todd J., 2007. "The Trouble with the MDGs: Confronting Expectations of Aid and Development Success," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 735-751, May.
    8. Kanbur, Ravi, 2004. "Growth, Inequality And Poverty: Some Hard Questions," Working Papers 127133, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Charles Meth, 2011. "Employer of Last Resort? South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)," SALDRU Working Papers 58, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    2. Haroon Bhorat & Ravi Kanbur, 2005. "Poverty and Well-being in Post-Apartheid South Africa: An Overview of Data, Outcomes and Policy," Working Papers 05101, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    3. Charles Meth, 2006. "What was the poverty headcount in 2004 and how does it compare to recent estimates by van der Berg et al?," SALDRU Working Papers 1, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    4. Charles Meth, 2007. "Sticking to the Facts: Official and Unofficial Stories about Poverty and Unemployment in South Africa," Working Papers 07123, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    South Africa: assumed values of the social wage; halving unemployment;

    JEL classification:

    • A1 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics

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