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Social assistance reform during a period of fiscal stress

  • Servaas van der Berg

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

  • Krige Siebrits

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Stellenbosch)

This paper reflects on the current state and likely future of the South African social assistance system, focusing specifically on its fiscal sustainability, its effectiveness as an instrument to combat poverty in a longer-term developmental sense, and its impact on the allocation of resources. Despite showing that the grants system is an effective intervention which markedly reduces poverty and apparently does not have severe undesirable behavioural effects, the paper argues that the scope for strengthening anti-poverty policy in South Africa by further expanding the social grants system nonetheless has become very limited. The main policy conclusions of the paper are that sustainable poverty reduction in South Africa requires inclusive job-creating economic growth, and that anti-poverty policy should remain focused on achieving his objective.

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File URL: http://www.ekon.sun.ac.za/wpapers/2010/wp172010/wp-17-2010.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 17/2010.

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Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:sza:wpaper:wpapers116
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  1. Servaas van der Berg, 2009. "Fiscal incidence of social spending in South Africa, 2006," Working Papers 10/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  2. Servaas van der Berg & Megan Louw & Derek Yu, 2007. "Post-transition poverty trends based on an alternative data source," Working Papers 08/2007, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  3. Servaas van der Berg & Megan Louw & Leon du Toit, 2009. "Poverty trends since the transition: What we know," Working Papers 19/2009, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
  4. Servaas van der Berg & Krige Siebrits & Bongisa Lekezwa, 2010. "Efficiency and equity effects of social grants in South Africa," Working Papers 15/2010, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
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