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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Smokescreen or opening a can of worms? Workplace HIV/AIDS peer education and social protection in South Africa
Author:Dickinson, DavidISNI
Periodical:African Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:social and economic rights
work environment
Labor and Employment
Health and Nutrition
Education and Oral Traditions
Abstract:Social protection comprises a range of rights and responsibilities - such as income security, a safe work environment, access to training and maintaining the organizational rights of workers - that affords security to workers and their dependants. The AIDS pandemic has important implications for social protection in South Africa. Private companies have responded to HIV/AIDS by, amongst others, 'shifting the burden' onto households and the State. This can be seen in the move towards atypical labour and the cutting of benefit levels. Many South African companies have recognized a need for peer education within company responses to HIV/AIDS. Peer educators form a 'frontline' of advice and support for workers. Drawing on research carried out in 2005 in five large South African companies, this paper assesses the activities of workplace peer educators, arguing that companies may be engaging in shifting the burden of HIV/AIDS, but that peer education is not a smokescreen for this. On the contrary, the activity of peer educators may come to act as a countervailing force, especially around issues of general wellness and, possibly, the re-inclusion of atypical employees within structures of social protection. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]