The 2002 report of the Taylor Committee of Inquiry into a Comprehensive Social Security System for South Africa recommended widespread social policy changes. A key suggestion in the report was the phased introduction of a Basic Income Grant (BIG) on a universal, nonmeans tested basis. In this way, the report addressed widespread demands by labour and civil society organisations for a form of income to be provided independently from individual employment conditions. The BIG concept recognises that existing social security programmes are related to stable waged employment and therefore exclude increasing numbers of long-term unemployed and contingent workers. This article argues that current shifts in the country's policy discourse question earlier social policies, which saw social inclusion as primarily depending on labour market participation. At the same time, however, the extremely cautious approach to the BIG contained in the Taylor report reflects a government approach that continuously praises work ethics and wage labour discipline while stigmatising welfare 'dependency'.
Journal of Southern African Studies is an international publication for work of high academic quality. It aims to generate fresh scholarly inquiry and exposition in the fields of history, economics, sociology, demography, social anthropology, geography, administration, law, political science, international relations, literature and the natural sciences, in so far as they relate to the human condition. It represents a deliberate effort to draw together the various disciplines in social science and its allied fields. Southern Africa represents a unique opportunity for the study of a wide variety of social problems. The journal presents work, which reflects new theoretical approaches, and work, which discusses the methodological framework in general use by students of the area. The region covered embraces the following countries: the Republic of South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland; Angola and Mozambique; Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe; and occasionally, Zaire, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mauritius.
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