Developmental Social Policy, Social Welfare Services and the Non-profit Sector in South Africa

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26 Citations (Scopus)


The potential and challenge of constructing a democratic developmental welfare state through synergistic state-civil society relations is the focus of this article. The author argues that while South Africa's pluralist approach, involving a leading role for the state in partnership with voluntary organizations, is a viable policy option to address the country's developmental challenges, anomalies between policy proclamations and actual practice raises questions about the efficacy of the partnership model and the gendered nature of welfare provision. Key governance issues and challenges, namely financial policies and institutional capability, underlie current failures in the delivery of welfare and care services, resulting in the non-realization of these constitutionally guaranteed social rights. Further public action is needed to remedy the situation. Non-profit organizations can advocate for policy reforms and challenge the instrumental nature of state-civil relations and the abrogation of state responsibility for welfare services in contemporary South Africa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)603-618
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • Developmental states
  • Developmental welfare
  • Welfare and non-profit organisations
  • Welfare in south africa

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration


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