Journal of Social Development in Africa

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Social protection policies and programmes in Southern Africa: The case of four country experiences

Dhemba Jotham


This article was based on a review and analysis of policy documents, reports and other relevant literature. It examines the nature and state of social protection in Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. While the strength of tradition and family  solidarity guaranteed social protection in the African context this has been rendered ineffective by the pervasiveness of poverty and modern values of individualism. This makes it imperative to adopt substitute formal extra-familial measures to avert poverty (Kaseke, 1993).Though some formal social protection programmes exist in these countries, their exclusionary nature, lack of  comprehensiveness and low level of benefits provided compromise their effectiveness. Furthermore, the fragmentation of social protection programmes in these countries militates against cross-subsidisation from other schemes and supplementary sources of income pointing to the need for their transformation.

Key words: Kaseke, poverty, social protection, vulnerability

AJOL African Journals Online