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Citation Information

Type Conference Paper - Overcoming inequality and structural poverty in South Africa: Towards inclusive growth and development’, Johannesburg, 20 September 2010
Title How social security policies and economic transformation affect poverty and inequality: Lessons for South Africa
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2010
URL http://www.plaas.org.za/sites/default/files/publications-pdf/Ulriksen.pdf
This article examines how various characteristics of social and economic policy frameworks affect
poverty and inequality levels in developing countries, principally in Botswana and Mauritius. The
research findings suggest that poverty and inequality are lower in countries with generous and
broad-based – rather than pro-poor – social security policies, and where social policies are
complemented by economic policies promoting economic transformation more so than merely
economic growth. While South Africa’s challenges of combating poverty and inequality are shaped
by its own historical context, the lessons from other countries offer the opportunity to reflect on the
social consequences of various social and economic policy mixtures. Particularly, it may be worth
considering how to bridge the divide between the economically productive contributors to social
security policies and the economically marginalised beneficiaries of such policies.

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