Webinar One of a Three-part series: What to do to reduce poverty and inequality? 10 May 2021
The ASSAf Standing Committee on the Science for the Reduction of Poverty and Inequality (SCSfRPI) has been mandated by the ASSAf Council to focus on poverty and inequality in respect to the pandemic, and to consult interdisciplinary science in the consideration of how to reduce poverty and inequality. In response, the SCSfRPI conceptualised a webinar series that will delve into the following themes: 1. What to do to reduce poverty and inequality? 2. How to fund interventions to reduce poverty? 3. What must be done if the state is to be capable of poverty and inequality reduction?
The notion of evidence-based advice received great attention in 2020 as the pandemic spread across the globe, and scientists and decision-makers alike grappled with information and uncertainties in equal amounts. Therefore, the intention of this webinar series is to present on the research findings, options and the debates associated with the webinar theme, with a focus on how to bridge knowledge/praxis gaps. Emphasis will be placed on ways in which scientific endeavour concerning poverty and inequality reduction, largely generated from the social sciences and the humanities, can assist all spheres of government as well as society as a whole.
It is especially useful to position debates on poverty interventions in science and data to try to avoid the complexities of value–based normative positionalities. Frequently notions of deserving and non-deserving beneficiaries of charitable relief continue to drive the thrust of poverty reduction policies, even in South Africa, a constitutional democracy, in which justiciable access to socio-economic rights are protected and guaranteed.
In this webinar, Prof Servaas van der Berg (SU), Dr Reza Daniels (UCT) and Grace Bridgman (SU) from the NIDS-CRAM will present data from the three survey waves, looking at whether social grants are capable of addressing poverty from the evidence provided. As Discussant, Ms Shirin Motala (HSRC) will present on recent evaluations of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to discuss how and why massified public works could equal or outperform cash transfers as primary policy to reduce or eradicate poverty in South Africa today and going forward to 2030.