Quotation Leubolt, Bernhard. 2014. Social policies and redistribution in South Africa. Global Labour University Working Paper, No. 25.




This paper aims at analyzing the effects of social policies on income inequalities in South Africa since the 1990s. Based on a framework of historical institutionalism, the heritage of a distributional regime based on institutional racism is highlighted. This had lasting effects on social policies which also had both liberal and conservative characteristics. Democratisation at the beginning of the 1990s led to the abolishing of institutional racism and conservative features, while the new framework tended to be of a more liberal nature than before. The Post-Apartheid transformation is marked by many contradictions: Concerning social policies, adverse effects of the ambitious affirmative action programme "Black Economic Empowerment" are diagnosed, as it creates incentives for highly-skilled public sector workers to work in the better-paid private sector. Apart from theresulting skills shortages, a tendency of cash transfers to replace public social services and infrastructure provision is diagnosed. In addition to this liberal characteristic of social policies, employment policies were not very successful, despite workfare tendencies in the approach towards welfare. As a result, overall income inequalities stagnated at very high levels after Apartheid, even with the rise of a black bourgeoisie and middle class.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Working/discussion paper, preprint
Language English
Title Social policies and redistribution in South Africa
Title of whole publication Global Labour University Working Paper, No. 25
Year 2014
URL http://www.global-labour-university.org/fileadmin/GLU_Working_Papers/GLU_WP_No.25.pdf


Leubolt, Bernhard (Former researcher)
Institute for Multi-Level Governance and Development IN (Details)
Research areas (Ă–STAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5000 Social Sciences (Details)
5119 Development policy (Details)
5325 Political economics (Details)
5341 Economic policy (Details)
5427 Poverty research, social exclusion (Details)
5911 Social policy (Details)
5912 Social sciences (interdisciplinary) (Details)
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