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Publication Details

Reference
Bond, Patrick (2014) Tokenism in South African social policy. lecture on SA social policy at University of Burgundy : 1-20.

Summary
South Africa’s welfare state expansion is said to be one of the leading ‘social democratic’ achievements of the post-apartheid era. However, overwhelmingly tokenistic features – including a neoliberal (fiscally-austere) context, the extension (not transformation) of apartheid’s inheritance, and commercialisation of state services – mean the deeper crises of society and economy are not being effectively mitigated. This is evident in general social policy foundations, in the Child Support Grant, the Older Person’s Grant and various other specific programmes. In contrast, alternative strategies of decommodification are being pursued by civil society activists, although transformative macro-economic policy and a new political coalition – a ‘United Front’ – are probably prerequisites for the ‘non-reformist reforms’ needed.

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