Journal of Social Development in Africa

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Towards the Africanisation of social protection in Southern Africa

Letlhokwa George Mpedi


This contribution, while concentrating on one of Professor Edwin Kaseke's favourite research topics (i.e., social protection) and reflecting on some of his work (in some instances with colleagues, argues that Professor Kaseke essentially called for the need for and emphasised the importance of the Africanisation of social protection in Southern Africa. Within the framework of this paper, Africanisation entails a scenario whereby social protection is responsive to and accommodative of the needs and challenges imposed by the local (African) context. Thus, social protection systems must be relevant to the social needs and challenges of the communities they are intended to serve. This should be evident from among others, the history of social protection in Southern Africa; conceptual framework, legislative and policy structure; social risks; personal and territorial scope of coverage; administrative  and institutional design; quality and quantity of benefits disbursed; as well as monitoring, adjudication and enforcement mechanisms. The article pursues its objective by focusing on the aforementioned key social protection areas which formed part of Professor Kaseke's interest in a majority of his research output on social protection. This discussion is followed by some concluding remarks from a forward-looking perspective.

Keywords: Africanisation, social protection, social assistance, social insurance, social allowances, informal social protection, Southern Africa

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