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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Trade-Offs between Distributive Equity and Democratic Process: The Case of Child Welfare Reform in South Africa
Author:Johnson, KristaISNI
Periodical:African Studies Review
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:popular participation
social welfare
child care
Politics and Government
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Development and Technology
Economics and Trade
Health and Nutrition
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/525067
Abstract:This article examines the tensions that emerged when South Africa's newly democratic government attempted to deliver reforms rapidly in the interest of distributive equity, sidelining the slower and more inclusive process of consultation with stakeholders outside of government. It focuses on policy debates in the welfare sector over the new Child Support Benefit Programme, proposed in 1997. An analysis of these policy debates reveals that consultation with stakeholders outside of government strengthened the democratic process and provided a necessary venue for citizens to engage government and have a say in the development process. However, the article also suggests that with the introduction of the government's macroeconomic strategy for Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR), the policy terrain has become less consultative as the ANC government has increasingly centralized decisionmaking powers within the executive and the cabinet. While in the short term this may be seen as a necessary measure in order to begin to address many of the pressing needs of the electorate, in the long run it has the effect of installing undemocratic practices and shifting the locus of power to those institutions of government that are the least representative and accountable. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French.