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

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.

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Paper provided by Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town in its series SALDRU/CSSR Working Papers with number 049.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ldr:cssrwp:049
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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, 09.
  2. 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.
  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. 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.
  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. 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.
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