Local effects of new social-welfare policy on ageing in South Africa

  • Robin L. Oakley Department of Anthropology and Institute for Human Development, University of Toronto, Canada

Abstract

In this paper, new South African social-welfare policy on ageing is analysed through an investigation of a poor coloured community in Namaqualand in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa. The study, conducted during the implementation of proposals in new draft policy, revealed that the new policy would have negative effects on the residents of a home for the aged located in the focus community. It is suggested that the new policy, which invokes the concept of ubuntu, differs only superficially from past policy on the states provision for older citizens. South Africans are required to provide financially for their retirement, despite it having been shown that both in the past and at present, it is tremendously difficult for the majority to do so. Further research is needed to determine whether the results of this study are unique or whether other communities experience similar effects of the new policy.

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Published
1998-04-01