Biological citizenship in Blikkiesdorp : the case of the disability grant

Kelly, Gabrielle Gita (2012-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis examines local understandings and use of the Disability Grant in The Symphony Way Temporary Relocation Area, locally referred to as Blikkiesdorp (tin can town). The study takes an ethnographic approach and focuses particularly on a group of people accessing or seeking to access Disability Grants who formed a support group as a result of the study. Findings reveal that in a context of social and economic marginalisation, there is a high reliance on government grants for survival and a particularly high demand for Disability Grants by the unemployed in Blikkiesdorp. As social assistance in South Africa is categorically targeted at particular vulnerable groups, the majority of the unemployed of working age are not eligible for social assistance. As a result, Disability Grant recipients face significant pressure from their households and the community at large to share their grants with those who cannot find unemployment but are not catered to by the social security system. It also means that disability or illness is often valued over health. Given the use of the Disability Grant as a livelihood strategy within households and the related importance of Disability Grants to individuals and families, those who receive their grants on a temporary basis engage in a struggle to reapply for grants through performances of disability and humanitarian appeals to medical doctors who, as a result, are not only burdened by high numbers of grant applications, but also pressured to make decisions that go beyond their role as medical professionals. The analysis draws on the concept of biological citizenship to explore the relationship created between illness or disability of the bodies of marginalised citizens and the potential to access to social citizenship rights, enabled through the receipt of the Disability Grant.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie tesis ondersoek aan die hand van ʼn etnografiese benadering plaaslike begrippe en gebruike van die Ongeskiktheidstoelaag in Die Simfonieweg Tydelike Hervestigingsgebied, plaaslik bekend as Blikkiesdorp. Die studie fokus op ʼn groep mense wat die Ongeskiktheidstoelaag ontvang of probeer om daartoe toegang te verkry en wat as gevolg van hul deelname aan die studie, ʼn ondersteuningsgroep gevorm het. Die bevindinge dui daarop dat in ʼn konteks van maatskaplike en ekonomiese marginalisering, daar vir oorlewing tot ʼn groot mate op staatstoelaes staatgemaak word en dat daar spesifiek onder werkloses in Blikkiesdorp ʼn groot aanvraag vir die Ongeskiktheidstoelaag is. Maatskaplike ondersteuning in Suid-Afrika word op spesifieke kategorieë kwesbare groepe gerig en die meerderheid werkloses kwalifiseer nie vir maatskaplike ondersteuning nie. Om die rede verkeer die ontvangers van die Ongeskiktheidstoelaag onder besondere druk van lede van hul huishouding en ook van ander gemeenskapslede om hul toelae te deel met werkloses wat nie deur die maatskaplike sekuriteitsisteem gedek word nie. In dié konteks gebeur dit dikwels dat ongeskiktheid of siekte bo gesondheid van waarde geag word. As gevolg van die belangrikheid van die Ongeskiktheidstoelaag vir individue en hul gesinne is diegene wat hierdie toelaag op ʼn tydelike basis ontvang, betrokke in ʼn stryd om heraansoek deur die voorstelling van ongeskiktheid teenoor en humanitêre beroepe op mediese beroepslui. Hierdie beroepslui word derhalwe nie slegs belas met ʼn groot aantal aansoeke nie, maar verkeer ook onder druk om besluite te neem wat verder as hul rol as medici strek. Die konsep biologiese burgerskap word gebruik om die verband wat geskep word tussen siekte of ongeskiktheid van die liggame van gemarginaliseerde burgers en die potensiaal vir toegang tot maatskaplike burgerskapsregte deur die ontvangs van die Ongeskiktheidstoelaag, te ontleed.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/71632
This item appears in the following collections: