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Study of the incidence and nature of chronic poverty and development policy in South Africa: An overview

Michael Aliber

PLAAS / Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies
School of Government
University of the Western Cape
South Africa

in conjunction with

Chronic Poverty Research Centre
Institute for Development Policy & Management
University of Manchester

May 2001
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SARPN would like to thank PLAAS and the Chronic Poverty Research Centre for permission to post this paper.

Also, the author would like to acknowledge the kind and thoughtful assistance of Anthony Asher, Doreen Atkinson, Simon Bekker, Sabera Bobat, Julia de Bruyn, Debbie Budlender, Liz Clarke, Ben Cousins, Andries du Toit, David Everatt, Paul Hollesen, Nicola Johnston, Steven Kannetjie, Firoz Khan, Peter le Roux, Murray Leibbrandt, Chris Lund, Peter Makwela, Colin Murray, Benjamin Roberts, Sophie Sokalis, Silvia Stevens-Maziya, and Jodie Taylor.

Table of Contents
     Acronyms and abbreviations
1.   Introduction and synopsis
2.   Historical background and present economic context
     2.1. Introduction
     2.2. The legacies of colonialism and apartheid
     2.3. Socio-economic policies since 1994
     2.4. Population profile and poverty statistics
     2.5. Summary
3.   South Africa's chronically poor - a quantitative and qualitative picture
     3.1. Introduction
     3.2. Recent quantitative research on chronic poverty in South Africa
     3.2.1. The KwaZulu-Natal Income Dynamics Study (KIDS)
     3.2.2. The dynamics of unemployment and employment in relation to poverty states A picture of unemployment and employment in South Africa Panel studies of employment The changing nature of employment in the formal sector Employment and self-employment in the informal sector
     3.3. Quality of life and experiential aspects of chronic poverty
     3.3.1. Vulnerability and resignation
     3.3.2. The migrant labour system, female-headed households, and gender roles
     3.3.3. Access to infrastructure, services, and amenities
     3.3.4. Crime and violence
     3.3.5. Lack of voice and social exclusion
     3.4. Categories of chronically poor people
     3.4.1. The rural poor
     3.4.2. Female-headed households
     3.4.3. People with disabilities
     3.4.4. The elderly
     3.4.5. Retrenched farm workers
     3.4.6. AIDS orphans and households with AIDS sufferers
     3.4.7. Cross-border migrants
     3.4.8. The 'street homeless'
     3.4.9. Putting the picture together
     3.5. Summary
4.   Government and civil society interventions
     4.1. Introduction and overview
     4.2. Social security
     4.2.1. The government's social security system
     4.2.2. Social security services provided through or by the private sector
     4.2.3. Social security services provided by NGOs, CBOs, and FBOs
     4.3. Development and job creation
     4.3.1. Government-led schemes for development and job creation The Poverty Alleviation Fund The Flagship Programme for Unemployed Women With Children Under Five Years Support to SMMEs Land redistribution and rural development
     4.3.2. Development and job creation through the private sector
     4.3.3. Development via NGOs, CBOs, and FBOs
     4.4. Summary
5.   Constraints and challenges to addressing chronic poverty in South Africa
     5.1. Introduction
     5.2. Absence of a strategy for the chronically poor
     5.2.1. "Chronic poverty" has not entered the lexicon
     5.2.2. There is no over-arching anti-poverty strategy
     5.2.3. The limits to 'development by piggeries'
     5.3. Employment and unemployment
     5.4. HIV/AIDS and the implications for marginal rural areas
     5.5. Summary
6.   Priority areas for research

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