n Law, Democracy & Development - Social protection for developing countries : can social insurance be more relevant for those working in the informal economy?

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1028-1053
  • E-ISSN: 2077-4907



In Southern Africa workers in the informal economy and their dependants are for the most part completely excluded from (formal) social protection schemes, in particular social insurance schemes. This is due to the fact that most social insurance schemes link the concept of contributor to that of employee. This is problematic, since the notion "employee" is by and large used to refer only to "standard" formal sector workers. Occupational and public social insurance schemes therefore generally limit their scope to traditional or typical formal sector employees. According to Van Ginneken, about one-third of people in the world are not covered by any formal social security protection, which suggests that the above framework can no longer suffice.

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