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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Aging and Social Policy in South Africa: Historical Perspectives with Particular Reference to the Eastern Cape
Author:Sagner, Andreas
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
social policy
Health and Nutrition
Politics and Government
Law, Human Rights and Violence
History and Exploration
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/2637416
Abstract:With the exception of a handful of articles by economists and policy analysts, there has been little attempt to write the history of public old-age policy in South Africa. This lack of research is all the more surprising as South Africa implemented the first modern old-age security policy in sub-Saharan Africa. In 1944, the noncontributory means-tested State pension scheme for needy white and coloured elderly (established in 1928) was broadened to include the African and Indian populations. This article first describes the emergence of public pension legislation in the 1920s, early public pension policy and the African elderly, the 1944 Pension Laws Amendment Bill, and pension policy in the early apartheid era, 1948-1960. Then, the article focuses on the former Transkei and Ciskei regions in the Eastern Cape and examines why the old-age security programme was extended to cover Africans in 1944 and its intended and unintended consequences. It shows that the State pensions for Africans, although totally inadequate, quite early on became decisive for the economic survival of many households and contributed, indirectly, both to increased self-respect and social status of old-age pensioners. Notes, ref., sum.