Aim of the Project
The right to social security, including social assistance, is entrenched in South Africa’s constitution as a fundamental human right. Government is under the obligation to realize this right progressively as an important tool to address poverty and inequality.
In November 2016, the Department of Social Development (DSD) released the Comprehensive Social Security Plan through National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). Missing from this plan is income support for those between 19 to 59 years, who are unemployed or precariously employed.
South Africa’s positive economic growth over a 20 year period has not translated in any meaningful employment creation. Roughly half of our population, including two thirds of all children, live in poverty. The prospects of the economy generating any jobs for a population that has missed out on education, training and skills that match the labour market needs are very slim.
While the country should endeavor to grow the economy, create employment opportunities such as implementing industrial policies, consider labour market reforms and expanding public works opportunities, these initiatives, realistically assessed will not accommodate the most desperate in the near future.
Apart from developing a considered response via NEDLAC, the Black Sash together with civil society partners will engage in research, education and advocacy to ensure that the plan going forward addresses the need for income support.