The South-African Socio-Economic and Political Context Essay
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In this assignment the student will be analyzing the broader national context and the impact and challenges for social welfare services and social work in South Africa. This assignment will include an analysis of 5 media clips, State of Nation Address by the President, Mr Jacob G. Zuma and the Budget Speech by the Minister of Finance, Mr Pravin J. Gordhan. This is the individual’s analysis of the articles, which will further guide and add towards the group work assignment. 2. State of Nation Address (RSA, State of Nation Address, 2012)
The State of Nation Address of South Africa 2012 was presented by President Jacob Zuma on the 8th of February 2012.
President Jacob Zuma identified the progress made as well as ways to further improve various areas in South Africa that needs to be addressed. He identified areas such as health, energy, human settlement, education, and fight against crime, water provision and rural development. In 2011 job creation was mainstreamed, cooperation between government was strengthened; only by working together the challenges in South Africa can be addressed.
There has been progressed made, but poverty, unemployment and inequality is still a big challenge in South Africa. The national Cabinet identified that the economy of the country needs to grow in order to eliminate poverty, problems of unemployment and inequality. In 2012 there will be greatly focus on infrastructure development. This can help with the improvement of education, health, job creation, rural development and other areas of challenges in South Africa. 3. Budget Speech (RSA, Budget Speech, 2012)
The National Budget Speech for South Africa 2012 was delivered by the Minister of Finance Pravin Gordhan on the 22nd of February 2012. Pravin Gordhan (RSA, Budget Speech, 2012) stated that “We remain steadfast in addressing the challenges of creating jobs, reducing poverty, building infrastructure, and expanding our economy. ” Social grants for people receive the most money, where over 16 million South Africans receive a grant. South Africa is a developmental state, but by increasing the amount of the grants and the people who receive the grants, it is not developmental at all.
South Africa should look at other aspects and find ways to enhance people without being dependable on the social grants. Is giving over 16 million citizen’s social grant really alleviating poverty or is it worsening the problem of poverty in the country? Education and infrastructure receives a high amount of finances to address the current need in South Africa. There is money set out for different areas and to help address the challenges that South Africa faces. The finances are there to address the challenges, but the government should utilize these finances as effective as possible.
Without these finances, services and problems can’t be addressed thus giving the government and other key participants in this country a responsibility towards South Africa and the challenges faced every day. 4. Article 1: “Study shows grants end up in right place” (2012) There has been a new study found that the social grant money is being given to the right people (Study shows grants end up in right place, 2012). The article further states that the money that is given to the women for the child support grant uses it for the house hold expenses, food and the children.
The money given is very low, in the Budget Speech it states that the social grants will increase from R105 billion to R122 billion in the next 3 years (RSA, Budget Speech, 2012). The study concludes that the women who receive these grants are making key financial decisions in their households. Further on the article state that the women don’t just receive the grants, but participate in projects and the community to enhance their quality of life. Thus the women not only just receive money, but they do develop and grow in taking part and making use of their financial skills.
In this way the grants are not only just given, but is forming part of social development. This study was conducted for three years in Soweto, thus only focussed on the area Doornkop. Meanings that this developing of people does not necessary go all over South-Africa. South Africa is a developmental country, even though grants are not developmental, there is an opportunity to enhance the people involved in the social system. This enhancement can be achieved by giving people responsibility and giving them the opportunity to develop new skills and knowledge.
In order for them to improve their quality of life and growth happening for people to become independent and taking charge of their own lives. In this study Patel stated that giving poor women grants has given them the opportunity to have access to resources and enabling them to take control of their finances and to make decisions. The implication of the grants can be a starting point for women to have opportunity to rise above poverty, taking it one step at a time where resources and skills can enhance poverty alleviation.
The challenges that lie within the social welfare and the services are to give and develop women in learning them skills that comes with the grants. 5. Article 2: “Jongmense sonder werk bedreig SA, se Nzimande”(Prince, 2012:10) Prince (2012:10) states in his article that the 3 million unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 24 years are threatening the stability of South Africa. Dr. Blade Nzimande stated that the government will expand on education and educational colleges and that the VOO-colleges will play a leading role.
President Jacob Zuma further stated that the government will give R 2,5 billion in the next three years to expand and improve colleges. He further stated that it will form part of the infrastructure project, also stated in the State of Nations Address. There will be more schools, universities and hospitals build. Dr. Nzimande said that there is a negative impression of colleges and that is because of the lack of finances, infrastructure and relevant courses.
The implications of the youth finishing their studies and gain more skills can benefit South Africa in different work sectors and there will be skilled people to be able to do certain work. If implemented as stated the challenge will be to create the opportunity for the youth to enter the work sector. Without the availability of jobs, it is difficult to address the high unemployment rate currently. The youth needs to be challenged and motivated by social workers and social welfare, to further their education and to complete their studies, for them to have the opportunity to enter different work sectors.
“Politiek kaap gedeelde optog oor swak skool”(Jansen & Claasen, 2012:20) In the Budget Speech (2012) Pravin Gordhan stated that education receives a large share of the government spending. The money is allocated towards infrastructure of schools, to student bursaries and to expand further education, training colleges and skill development. Jansen & Claasen (2012:20) wrote about an incident that occurred in Grabouw: There was n protest against an overpopulated school, where the black and brown residents of this area turned on each other and got violent.
The school had many damages. One of the residents also stated that the protest was for the bad conditions of the classrooms; where money was suppose to be given to the school in 2004 by the government. Political parties also had words for each other, where the DA states that the ANC uses a team to cause havoc in the area in order to gain more votes. There should be a clear focus on education and the importance there of. Instead of enhancing and trying to improve or make the government aware of the problem, the residents took charge and caused more damage to the school than good.
The problem is the overpopulated school and the bad class rooms. Not only did government promise the school money, and indicated that they are giving money for infrastructure for schools in South Africa, but the challenge is to address this need. The challenge for social workers is to stand up and make their voice loud in the government on the injustice happening because of neglect. The implication of government not addressing this need can be of a disadvantage to the communities. Social workers should challenge the Government on how to improve and address all the schools that needs assistance.
Education is important, and with education comes job opportunities and better quality of life. People of South Africa need to respect the right of education and the importance there of, by supporting and enhancing the school system and not to make it worse for the children that has to attend school. The challenges that lies within the social welfare and social work services is to promote social justice and to make people aware of their rights but also to take responsibility for their actions and respect that for which they stand for. 7.
Article 4: “Greatest human rights violation is poverty” (2012) Pregs Govender, deputy chairperson of the South African Human Rights Commission said that poverty in South Africa is the greatest human rights violation (Greatest human rights violation is poverty, 2012). She further stated that especially women don’t have access to sanitation in the rural area. The right to health is not accessible to all people as it should be. President Zuma stated in the State of Nation Address (2012) that the Constitution is the fundamental vision statement in which policies and actions are guided in South-Africa.
He also stated that they will work on the improvement of sanitation, water, electricity and roads. The question to be asked is what are the actions being done to improve sanitation as well as are they fundamentals of the Constitution and whether human rights are a priority. The challenge is that poverty is evident in South Africa and people do not have the freedom to take for granted or access to their rights as humans. Social workers should make people aware of their rights and the responsibility of those rights.
The challenge for the social welfare and the social workers is to work from a developmental approach, by giving people in poverty the skills and create opportunity for people to gain knowledge, so that they can gain a sustainable income. The article goes on where it talks about the infrastructure plan to respond to the basic needs of people that has been underdeveloped over the past years. Infrastructure is not only there to improve situations in South Africa but to connect the rural communities to economic opportunities through the building of dams and systems.
The implications of infrastructure development can create employment as stated in the State of Nation Address (2012). The challenge however is to not only create opportunity for economical growth and employment but for social welfare services and social workers to provide sustainable projects and programmes, to assure better quality of life, skills development, and employment of people. 8. Article 5: “As dit nou nog nie werk nie, stel dit reg” (Nolutshungu, 2012:III) President Jacob Zuma identified the challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality, despite the progress made in South Africa already.
He further states that Africans, women and youth suffer the most under these challenges (RSA, State of Nation Address, 2012). Nolutshungu (2012:III) wrote that if South Africa wants to alleviate poverty and unemployment, they should get rid of the BEE system. The unemployment number is 37% at present, where he states that the government should take different action steps and look at the challenges ahead. He further says that the government should look at their economic policies and should be willing to bring about change to enhance the economical growth.
The challenges are still to create equal opportunities for all citizens, regardless of their gender, race and culture. Equality is what we strive towards in South Africa and is part of the constitution, but is there really equality implemented among citizens? The reality is that Africans, women and the youth suffer most in the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality (RSA, State of Nation Address, 2012), but the implication is that there is not equal opportunity for them all.
In addressing job creation, women are being neglected. South Africa promotes equality, but they do not execute it. The challenge for social welfare is to address equality and implement it in services they render and promote sustainable equality, for change to take place. 9. Conclusion In the analysis of the media clips, State of Nations Address and the Budget Speech, the student gained more insight in what is happening currently in South Africa and what is planned to address the needs and challenges the country faces.
In preparation for the group assignment, the student will be able to bring her understanding, questions and insight she gained in doing the individual assignment to the group.