Study of the Incidence and Nature of Chronic Poverty and Development Policy in South Africa: An Overview

The purpose of this study is fourfold: first, to summarise the current state of knowledge about chronic poverty in South Africa; second, to describe the range of existing governmental and civil society initiatives which address chronic poverty; third, to identify challenges to addressing chronic poverty in South Africa; and fourth, to identify themes for further research. A common scenario in South Africa involves the coincidence of poor health, meagre education, and fractured families, on the one hand, with skewed resource distribution, inadequate infrastructure, and scarce employment opportunities, on the other. The combination is more than sufficient to trap many people in poverty. The paper goes on to survey the various anti-poverty measures of government and civil society. In terms of expenditure, the government’s social security system is by far the largest anti-poverty instrument in the country, and probably one of the more functional.