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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Citizenship and Welfare in South Africa: Deracialisation and Inequality in a Labour-Surplus Economy
Authors:Nattrass, Nicoli J.ISNI
Seekings, JeremyISNI
Year:1997
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Volume:31
Issue:3
Pages:452-481
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:economic inequality
labour law
social welfare
Economics and Trade
Ethnic and Race Relations
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/486195
Abstract:The elections of 1994 marked the achievement in South Africa of full and equal political citizenship. This formal political equality coexists with a very high level of economic inequality. This article examines why the deracialization of State policies has not resulted in any diminution of overall inequalities and why the reduction of inequality in postapartheid South Africa requires more profound changes to the welfare and labour market policies than are entailed in deracialization alone. It shows that deracialization has meant that a system designed to protect the white industrial working class has been extended to protect, most of all, the now predominantly black industrial working class - but in a context where the industrial working class is far from being the poorest section of society. The result is that the postapartheid labour market and welfare system make little provision for the very poor. In a labour-surplus middle-income economy such as South Africa, there is a tension between the interests of the employed (wage growth) and the unemployed (employment growth). The State can extend social citizenship only if the gap between the market position of the poor and the desired level of well-being can be bridged through public expenditure. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in French.
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