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An Overview of the Performance and Potential of Public Works Programmes in South Africa

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  • Anna McCord

Abstract

In this paper simple models are used to estimate the impact and fiscal feasibility of 'expanded' public works programmes using the limited data available. The employment creation potential of a R1.2 billion investment in labour intensive construction over three-years is found to represent a maximum of 0.5% of unemployed workdays per annum. The cost to the fiscus of an expanded public works programme able to offer part time employment to a significant number of workers (3.2 million) is found to be between R17 and R28 billion per annum.

Suggested Citation

  • Anna McCord, 2003. "An Overview of the Performance and Potential of Public Works Programmes in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 049, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
  • Handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:049
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    File URL: http://www.saldru.uct.ac.za/home/index.php?/component/option,com_docman/Itemid,33/gid,200/task,doc_download/
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lawrence HADDAD & Michelle ADATO, 2002. "Maximizing benefit transfers to the poor: Evidence from South African employment programmes," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 141(3), pages 203-223, September.
    2. Anna McCord, 2002. "Public Works as a Response to Labour Market Failure in South Africa," SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers 019, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    3. Thurlow, James, 2002. "Can South Africa afford to become Africa's first welfare state?," FCND discussion papers 139, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. M. Adato & L. Haddad, 2002. "Targeting Poverty through Community-Based Public Works Programmes: Experience from South Africa," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(3), pages 1-36.
    5. Haroon Bhorat, 2003. "Estimates for Poverty Alleviation in South Africa, with An Application to a Universal Income Grant," Working Papers 03075, University of Cape Town, Development Policy Research Unit.
    6. Charles Meth & Rosa Dias, 2004. "Increases in poverty in South Africa, 1999-2002," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 59-85.
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    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. Barrientos, Armando & Nino-Zarazua, Miguel, 2010. "Social Assistance in Developing Countries Database Version 5.0," MPRA Paper 20001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Maia Green, 2006. "Reresenting Poverty and Attacking Representations: Some Anthroplogical Perspectives on Poverty in Development," Economics Series Working Papers GPRG-WPS-009, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    4. Anna McCord & Kate Wilkinson, 2009. "Assessing the Incidence of Public Works Programmes: Using Propensity Score Matching Techniques to Assess the Poverty Targeting of Employment in Two Public Works Programmes in South Africa," SALDRU Working Papers 31, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.
    5. Maia Green, 2006. "Representing poverty and attacking representations: Perspectives on poverty from social anthropology," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(7), pages 1108-1129.
    6. Anna McCord, 2008. "Recognising Heterogeneity: A Proposed Typology for Public Works Programmes," SALDRU Working Papers 26, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

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