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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Social Pensions in Southern Africa in the Twentieth Century
Author:Devereux, StephenISNI
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies
Geographic terms:Botswana
South Africa
social policy
Economics and Trade
History and Exploration
Politics and Government
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070701475542
Abstract:The social pension was introduced in South Africa in 1928, but eligibility was extended to African South Africans in 1944 and to African Namibians only in 1973. Botswana introduced its own social pension scheme in 1996, and Lesotho followed as recently as 2004. Initially conceived as a welfarist programme to provide social assistance to 'poor whites', South Africa's social pension was later exploited for a complex combination of political objectives, including the control of African urbanization and maintenance of rural labour reserves (Bantustans) in South Africa, and 'winning hearts and minds' during South Africa's occupation of Namibia. Since the accession to power of the ANC and SWAPO governments in the early 1990s, equity concerns and antipoverty objectives have dominated. Racially discriminatory payment levels were declared unconstitutional and have been eradicated in both countries. While concerns have been raised about the fiscal sustainability of the social pension, its future as a social welfare programme in southern Africa and elsewhere depends mainly on political commitment from governments and taxpayers. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]