Implemention Of Social Policies In South Africa: Stances, Progress And Challenges In 20 Years Of Democracy

Thanyani S Madzivhandila

Abstract


The attainment of democracy in South Africa in 1994 kick started a long journey that was required to transform the poor socio-economic conditions and the social ills that dominated the large space of the lives particularly of those in rural areas. During the apartheid era, racial exclusion and separate development policies which favour the white minority left the majority of people particularly in rural areas suffering from poverty, unemployment and lack of basic needs. However, the democratic established Constitution (Act 108 0f 1996) emphasises the need to strengthen the rights of people to have access to health, sufficient food, water and social security. In that sense, South African government formulated a myriad of legislative and policy measures which were aimed at redressing the moral decay and social ills of the past and to achieve the progressive realization of the these rights. It was on the bases of this moral imperative given the shadow of apartheid and its resulting structural barriers to social and economic development that the promotion of social inclusion, redress and equity became the centre stage of policy formulation. The important question that the paper seeks to ask is why is it that after 20 years of democracy in South Africa, the majority of people are still suffering from poverty, unemployment and lack of basic needs. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the importance of strategic implementation socio-economic policies in South Africa. The paper will be structured as follows; the first part will look at the rural conditions in South Africa assessing transformation progress and challenges; the second part is the analysis of different socio-economic policies in South Africa looking at stances taken towards implementation; thirdly the paper will focus on strides and struggles faced when adopting sustainable socio-economic policies and lastly the paper propose a sustainable way forward towards successful implementation of policies for progressive transformation of the majority of South African citizens.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p766


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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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