Presentation on theme: "Crafting a Dual Citizenship System Based on Partial Participation and Non-Participation in the Labour Market: A case Study of Post-Apartheid South Africa."— Presentation transcript:
Crafting a Dual Citizenship System Based on Partial Participation and Non-Participation in the Labour Market: A case Study of Post-Apartheid South Africa
This presentation attempts to make a case for the spread of work to as many people as possible and to create work in socially meaningful areas in order to satisfy both the intrinsic and extrinsic expectation of work Unemployment and underemployment have become global long-term problems but nowhere are these problems more acute than in South Africa
This presentation will be divided into two parts: the first part deals with the discussion of the dominant proposals that have been suggested as a solution for South Africa which are heavily borrowed from the dominant world paradigms And the second part will be a presentation of the new class compromise solution of income support and work provision
Lastly this presentation will conclude by offering a discussion on the prospects for a new class compromise in South Africa. It is harder to define the concept of work than it might appear. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Sociology defines work as “the supply of physical, mental and emotional effort to produce goods and services for own consumption or for consumption by Others”
On the other hand, Alfred Marshall views work as “any given exertion of mind and body undergone partly or wholly with a view to some good other than pleasure derived from work”. While the first definition seems to privilege the notion of work as a means to satisfy material wants of an individual ans/or society, the latter appears so broad that it might be interpreted to include, for example, physical exercise that is done to achieve a healthy body, as a form of work.
Two proposals have been advanced to address the crisis of unemployment and poverty. The first known as the third way holds sway in government which has metarmophosised into the National Development Plan (NDP) suggests that unemployment and poverty can only be eradicated in the context of a free market, fiscal discipline, and an unregulated labour market and 11 million jobs are predicted that will be created within this framework by 2030. This economic orthodoxy is regarded as a sine qua non for economic growth which is treated as a prerequisite for the redistribution of wealth in the country.
The second proposal is the social-democratic vision which is based on the realisation that the South African economy is faced basically with two macro-economic problems: unemployment and weak economic growth. High levels of unemployment which stand at 36 percent using the expanded definition of unemployment, coupled with a substantial number of underpaid and underemployed workers, represent a crisis of demand in the economy.
Professor Vilakazi notes that the fundamental weakness of the South African economy is the low buying power and lower consumer demand of the Africans in the peripheries of the cities, in the rural and semi-rural areas, who remain excluded from economic activities of the country. Moreover, he argues that “The existing industrial and commercial sectors of the economy of this country are not the growth engine of the economy of current South Africa”
The new class compromise suggested for a post- apartheid South Africa differs from the “Northern Compromise” of post-war Europe – that was struck between capital and organised labour – which was based on participation in the labour market and underscored by high wages and labour standards. It also differs from the “Southern Compromise” – that was struck between the state and urban classes including workers, the informal sector and unemployed and international capital.
The new class compromise is based on a two- dimensional provision of a social wage. The first dimension involves the universal, all inclusive and all-encampassing provision of income support/security in the form of a basic income to all citizens. The second dimension involves the provision of supplementary income support to the underemployed.
Both dimension are anchored on the universal provision of traditional welfare concerns such as education, health, shelter, the right to the full participation in social heritage, and the right to live in a safe environment. The new class compromise could be funded through three possible sources of funds: 1) Introduction of an Equitable Tax Policy, 2) Relaxation of Austerity Measures (deficit) to 12 percent and 3) the Restructuring of the State Pension Fund
Political prospects for a new class compromise are not encouraging as there is no credible organised social force currently mobilising for the introduction of a new class compromise There is a rhetorical backlash against increasing the beneficiaries of social grants and social security Lastly, the political landscape is adverse to the new class compromise.