n Gender and Behaviour - The dynamics of poverty and poverty alleviation in South Africa




Poverty remains one of the worst human calamities in the world especially in Africa. Despite its status as Africa's biggest economy, South Africa battles high levels of poverty like its poorer neighbours. The article will argue that despite the recorded economic growth in the post Apartheid years the disparities between the poor and the rich has widened. This article unpacks the dynamics of poverty and its manifestations and the complexities in tackling it. Moving from a premise that only proper diagnosis will lead to an effective prescription, this article endeavours to discuss the forms of poverty and the underlying causes. The expressions of poverty in terms of age, gender, geographic location and race are discussed to unravel structural challenges underpinning them. Subsequently, the various strategies employed by the South African government in the fight against poverty are examined. The efficacy of these strategies is brought into scrutiny while opportunities for greater impact are explored through literature review. In the main, the article seeks to stimulate more debate on the efficacy of poverty alleviation strategies in the country, in the process exploring possible alternatives of tackling poverty. A closer look at the South African case can prove important for many African countries whose experiences are comparable. The article advocates a multi-stakeholder approach in dealing with the challenges of poverty and a re-think on the structural issues that perpetuate poverty.


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