Changing Social Policy: The Child Support Grant in South by Francie Lund

By Francie Lund

Outlining the transformation of the discriminatory welfare method less than apartheid, this South African examine explains the extra innovative and developmental social welfare method that has emerged within the postapartheid period. It presents a wide assessment of the context of coverage reform on the time of South Africa's transition to democracy, identifies the styles of poverty and inequality that the 1st democratically elected govt of South Africa needed to tackle, and delves into the welfare area, concentrating on the movement in the direction of developmental social welfare and the iconic societal advantages of utilizing social safety funds for kids during the 1998 baby help furnish.

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Extra info for Changing Social Policy: The Child Support Grant in South Africa

Sample text

I wrote a proposal (see Appendix 1 in this book) for a multi-level national and provincial intervention comprising public hearings, research, practical model building and public awareness. Much of the work would be done at provincial level, by partnerships of provincial government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs). It was also proposed that particular attempts should be made to include black social and community workers operating at grassroots level, as they were well placed to contribute ideas about alternative models of delivery.

It is impossible to assess the influence that this intervention had on subsequent reforms, as it took place in the context of an overall movement towards reform that was the result of hard work by many people and organisations, with the new minister having a sympathetic ear to this issue. In the new Maintenance Act 99 of 1998, reforms generally went in the direction recommended in the workshop document. Important changes included the introduction of investigators so that women themselves do not have to trace their partners and establish their income levels; the reintroduction of garnishee orders through which an award for maintenance can be taken directly from a person’s salary at (his) place of employment; and the introduction of ‘social context’ training for court officials, to increase their sensitivity to issues of gender and race.

It is hard to make generalisations about common positions, but I would say that it was a ‘broadly left’ committee, with strong commitments to state intervention as a way of addressing both the general levels of inequality in society, and the particular position of women and children. I do not recall that we ever systematically worked through what our orientation was towards addressing the remit that was set for us. On reflection, I think that the following were the central elements in the approach.

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