Expanding the Social Security Net in South Africa: Opportunities, Challenges and Constraints
For a large proportion of the South African population social welfare grants are an important source of income. Rapid increases in government expenditure on social security between 2000 and 2006 has further increased poor households’ reliance on welfare grants and has been important in the fi ght 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 surfacing in policy circles from time to time. However, as we argue in this paper, various constraints to such expansions of the welfare net exist. Whereas in the past much of the increased expenditure on social security provisioning could be fi nanced out of government revenue overruns, it is likely that further increases will only be possible through a reallocation of government expenditure. Already there is evidence of a substitution taking place within the social budget: expenditure on education and health seems to have declined in favour of increased welfare transfer expenditure. This, 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 will only put further pressure on health and education services, as well as the agency responsible for disbursing and monitoring welfare payments in the country. We argue, therefore, that budgetary and service delivery constraints, at the present moment, present a strong argument against any expansion of the social welfare system in the immediate future.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2007|
|Publication status:||Published in Working Paper Series by the Development Policy Research Unit, September 2007, pages 1-52|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Private Bag X3, Rondebosch, 7701|
Phone: +27 21 650 5705
Fax: +27 21 650 5711
Web page: http://www.dpru.uct.ac.za
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- 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.
- Rawlings, Laura B., 2004. "A new approach to social assistance : Latin America's experience with conditional cash transfer programs," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 30165, The World Bank.
- 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 briefs 139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Thurlow, James, 2002. "Can South Africa afford to become Africa's first welfare state?," FCND discussion papers 139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
- Laura B. Rawlings, 2004. "A New Approach to Social Assistance: Latin America’s Experience with Conditional Cash Transfer Programs," World Bank Other Operational Studies 11813, The World Bank.
- Case, Anne & Deaton, Angus, 1998. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1330-1361, 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.
- Case, A. & Deaton, A., 1996. "Large Cash Transfers to the Elderly in South Africa," Papers 176, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Servaas van der Berg & Ronelle Burger & Rulof Burger & Megan Louw & Derek Yu, 2005. "Trends in poverty and inequality since the political transition," Working Papers 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.
- 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.
- de Janvry, Alain & Finan, Frederico & Sadoulet, Elisabeth & Nelson, Donald & Lindert, Kathy & de la Briere, Benedicte & Lanjouw, Peter, 2005. "Brazil's Bolsa Escola program : the role of local governance in decentralized implementation," Social Protection and Labor Policy and Technical Notes 90506, The World Bank.
- 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.
- Servaas van der Berg, 2002. "Issues in South African Social Security," Working Papers 01/2002, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
- Johann Kirsten & Julian May & Sheryl Hendriks & Charles L. Machethe & Cecelia Punt & Mike Lyne, 2007. "South Africa," Chapters,in: Beyond Food Production, chapter 8 Edward Elgar Publishing.