Critical analysis of the Poverty Policy in South Africa
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Critical analysis of the Poverty Policy in South Africa 'This essay will consider the measures that have been embraced by the democratic South African government to combat poverty across different ethnicities as well as evaluating the chosen strategies by the ANC led government. The essay will start by defining what apartheid was as well as how it racially discriminated access to facilities and rights. The essay would also explore the reasons why poverty still exist at a large scale despite the shift in political policy as well as associated factors that are impeding swift eradication of poverty in South Africa. Apartheid in South Africa was a draconian, legal discriminatory system based on racial lines that excluded non-whites (Africans, Indians and Coloureds) from housing, jobs, education, social services, welfare as well as political participation. Apartheid was in existence between the years 1948 to 1994 Mulholland, R (1997).
Hassen. E.K. (2005). In an effort to alleviate poverty, the new South African government awarded grants to the elderly (Pension Grant) and children (Child support Grant) Surrender, R, Ntshongwana, P (2007), which are tailored to cushion the severity of poverty, ironically, "the grant is used as income for the entire family" Hassen, E. K (2005) The implementation of such a strategy addresses poverty in selected demographics while ignoring poverty in the bigger and more productive population of the country. Lately, churches and civic groups have been campaigning for a basic means tested income that all South Africans would benefit from irrespective of gender, age or race as long as they are unemployed. It is evident that the majority of the people living below the poverty datum line in South Africa at the end of apartheid were mainly the non-whites, hence the infrastructure that was implemented to alleviate poverty did not address across the whole racial spectrum.
The BEE gives preference of economic empowerment (Jobs, Government tenders, education etc) to the black majority. (De Klerk, F. W 2005). The anti poverty policies have been a success in at least awarding grants to certain categories of people as discussed before, but, the inadequacies of the policy are reflected in the continuous rise of criminal incidents in South Africa. In a report on Crime and Inequalities in South Africa, Demombynes and Ozler (2002) argue that, "some economic and sociological theories of crime suggest that there may be a positive relationship between poverty and crime levels", hence the shortcomings in the anti poverty policy in South Africa have somehow contributed to the increase of crime in the country. The South African vice president expressed similar sentiments on poverty in relationship to crime "It is essential to alleviate poverty and unemployment to help cut crime" Mlambo-Ngcuka, P (2007). The other factor that has impinged on the success of the poverty alleviation policy in South Africa is the AIDS/HIV pandemic.
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