Browsing by Author "Bredenkamp, Caryn"
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- ItemFalling through the cracks : income security and the South African social security system(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2001-03) Bredenkamp, Caryn; Van der Berg, Servaas; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences. Dept. of Economics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This thesis focuses on the extent to which the South African social security system succeeds in providing protection in the vulnerable periods of the life-cycle and against the major contingencies of unemployment, disability and disease. Through a detailed examination of the different social insurance and assistance programmes, it isolates which particular population segments (by occupation, income quintile and race group) "fall through the cracks" in the provision of income security. It does not look only at the articulation between different social insurance and social assistance programmes, but also acknowledges how social security complements other governmental interventions, such as social services, and non-state sources of income security, such as those provided by the private insurance market and the family and community. Part One of the thesis is devoted to an examination of social insurance in South Africa, in other words, to those programmes that seek to compensate for a loss of income in the event of particular contingencies and that are funded by contributions from employers and employees. In addition, theoretical perspectives on social security, and social insurance in particular, are provided, with a discussion of the various economic arguments in favour of and against the provision of social security. Part Two of the thesis examines the range of non-contributory social assistance - cash benefits paid form general revenue - that are available to South Africans who qualify in terms of the means tests. Each chapter provides an analysis of the extent to which the social assistance programme under analysis provides a safety net for the relevant category of vulnerable people. It does this by examining the appropriateness of the programme structure, take-up rates and the fiscal sustainability of the programmes. In addition, the budgetary process by which revenue is allocated to social assistance programmes and expenditure trends are examined. The thesis concludes that although the South African social security system has achieved a fairly advanced level of development and covers a fairly wide range of risks, there are a number of constraints facing its further expansion. Social insurance schemes provide generous benefits, but their membership is restricted to the employed. Expanding coverage by social insurance would require substantial growth in remunerative employment which, given prevailing labour market conditions, seems unlikely. The provision of more generous social assistance programmes catering for a broader range of contingencies is severely curtailed by already high fiscal expenditure on welfare and macroeconomic constraints. Moreover, changing demography, household structures and dependency burdens, especially as the HIV/AIDS epidemic spreads, seem likely to increase demands on social assistance programmes. Consequently, until employment can be expanded so that more people can contribute to their own income security, the informal social security provided by the family and/or community will remain the first line of support for many.