The ANC and Social Security: The Good, the Bad and the Unacknowledged

6 Sep 2016 - 11:30

Colin presented on the topic of his recent paper which assessed one element of the ANC’s policies and practices since 1994: its programmes of social welfare. The ANC has carried out a remarkable expansion of welfare provision. By 2016, pensions and grants reached almost 18 million people, or one in three South Africans. Welfare cash transfers have arguably been the most effective mechanism of redistribution used by the ANC. The paper discusses the evolution and architecture of the social security provisions; the technology that delivers it; how it is viewed and understood by senior ANC politicians; and its shortcomings. It concludes with locating the topic within the ‘politics and economics of redistribution’ as outlined so fruitfully by James Ferguson.

Colin Bundy is an historian, who has retired after a career as an academic and university administrator. He served as Vice-Chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Principal of the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and Principal of Green Templeton College, Oxford.  As a scholar he was best known for his Rise and Fall of a South African Peasantry; he was co-author (with William Beinart) of Hidden Struggles in Rural South Africa. Since 2012 he has published four books in the Jacana Pocket series: Govan Mbeki (2012), Short-changed? South Africa since apartheid (2014), Nelson Mandela (2015) and Poverty in South Africa: Past and Present. He has published over 50 articles and chapters on South African history and politics.  

Read Colin's paper on the ANC and Social Security

View Colin's presentation slides from this seminar