Reimagining Social Safety Nets – Mail&Guardian

Is social security spending too high?

Is social security spending excessive? This query delves into the intricate balance between government expenditure and societal needs. At SPI, we believe this debate is critical, especially in light of South Africa’s socio-economic landscape. With unemployment rates soaring and inequality persisting, it’s imperative to scrutinize fiscal allocations with a lens of efficacy and equity.

In this analysis, we examine South Africa’s fiscal response during two pivotal crises: the 2008 financial meltdown and the recent Covid-19 pandemic. Through comparative insights, we assess the adequacy of social security measures and advocate for proactive solutions.

Key Points:

  • Unemployment Crisis: Explore the staggering unemployment rates plaguing South Africa, particularly among marginalized groups.
  • Inequality Concerns: Highlight South Africa’s status as one of the most unequal nations globally, emphasizing the urgency of addressing disparities.
  • Advocating for Change: Propose a comprehensive approach to tackle unemployment, poverty, and inequality, including the implementation of a universal basic income.


Author Bio: Nomahlubi Jakuja is the Head of Research at the Social Policy Initiative (SPI). With a passion for social justice and policy innovation, Nomahlubi leads SPI’s efforts to address systemic inequalities and promote inclusive development.