Social Assistance Reform During A Period of Fiscal Stress

55 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2010

See all articles by Servaas van der Berg

Servaas van der Berg

Stellenbosch University

Franz Krige Siebrits

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Social grants, Effects of social grants, Labour market outcomes, Anti-poverty policy, South Africa

JEL Classification: H31, H53, I38, J65

Suggested Citation

Van der Berg, Servaas and Siebrits, Franz Krige, Social Assistance Reform During A Period of Fiscal Stress (2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1727628 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1727628

Servaas Van der Berg (Contact Author)

Stellenbosch University ( email )

Private Bag X1
Stellenbosch, Western Cape 7602
South Africa

Franz Krige Siebrits

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

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