“Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924-1929

 

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dc.contributor.author Seekings, Jeremy
dc.date.accessioned 2016-05-06T13:31:11Z
dc.date.available 2016-05-06T13:31:11Z
dc.date.issued 2006
dc.identifier.citation Seekings, J. (2007). ‘Not a single white person should be allowed to go under’: swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa's welfare state, 1924–1929. Centre for Social Science Research, University of Cape Town en_ZA
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19492
dc.description.abstract South Africa developed, during the course of the twentieth century, an exceptional welfare system based on social assistance rather than social insurance, and focused especially on old-age pensions.  The origins of South Africa’s welfare state lay in the 1920s, not in the 1930s as has generally been suggested.  This paper examines the process leading to the 1928 Old Age Pensions Act, paying particular attention to the 1926-28 Pienaar Commission on Old Age Pensions and National Insurance.  The introduction of old age pensions enjoyed the support of all parties representing white and coloured voters in Parliament, but for diverse reasons.  For the National Party and Labour Party – partners in the coalition Pact Government of 1924-29 – non-contributory old-age pensions were a crucial pillar in the ‘civilised labour’ policies designed to lift ‘poor whites’ out of poverty and re-establish a clear racial hierarchy.  Welfare reform was thus, in significant part, a response to the ‘swartgevaar’ or menace of black physical, occupational and social mobility.  The choice of a system of tax-financed social assistance, in preference to a system of social insurance financed out of contributions by employers and workers, was due to a combination of factors: the perceived need to provide immediate redress against poverty and unemployment (motivating the National Party); the powerful influence of left and liberal thinking from Britain, Australia and New Zealand (on both bureaucrats and the Labour Party); a concern that contributory schemes would add to much to the costs of production (among employers and workers alike); and a worry about the racial coverage of contributory schemes. en_ZA
dc.language eng en_ZA
dc.source The Journal of African History
dc.source.uri http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=AFH
dc.title “Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924-1929 en_ZA
dc.type Working Paper en_ZA
dc.date.updated 2016-05-06T13:29:22Z
uct.type.publication Research en_ZA
uct.type.resource Research paper en_ZA
dc.publisher.institution University of Cape Town
dc.publisher.faculty Faculty of Humanities en_ZA
dc.publisher.department Centre for Social Science Research(CSSR) en_ZA
uct.type.filetype Text
uct.type.filetype Image
dc.identifier.apacitation Seekings, J. (2006). <i>“Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924-1929</i> University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Centre for Social Science Research(CSSR). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19492 en_ZA
dc.identifier.chicagocitation Seekings, Jeremy <i>“Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924-1929.</i> University of Cape Town ,Faculty of Humanities ,Centre for Social Science Research(CSSR), 2006. http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19492 en_ZA
dc.identifier.vancouvercitation Seekings J. “Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924-1929. 2006 [cited yyyy month dd]. Available from: http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19492 en_ZA
dc.identifier.ris TY - Working Paper AU - Seekings, Jeremy AB - South Africa developed, during the course of the twentieth century, an exceptional welfare system based on social assistance rather than social insurance, and focused especially on old-age pensions.&nbsp; The origins of South Africa’s welfare state lay in the 1920s, not in the 1930s as has generally been suggested.&nbsp; This paper examines the process leading to the 1928 Old Age Pensions Act, paying particular attention to the 1926-28 Pienaar Commission on Old Age Pensions and National Insurance.&nbsp; The introduction of old age pensions enjoyed the support of all parties representing white and coloured voters in Parliament, but for diverse reasons.&nbsp; For the National Party and Labour Party – partners in the coalition Pact Government of 1924-29 – non-contributory old-age pensions were a crucial pillar in the ‘civilised labour’ policies designed to lift ‘poor whites’ out of poverty and re-establish a clear racial hierarchy.&nbsp; Welfare reform was thus, in significant part, a response to the ‘swartgevaar’ or menace of black physical, occupational and social mobility.&nbsp; The choice of a system of tax-financed social assistance, in preference to a system of social insurance financed out of contributions by employers and workers, was due to a combination of factors: the perceived need to provide immediate redress against poverty and unemployment (motivating the National Party); the powerful influence of left and liberal thinking from Britain, Australia and New Zealand (on both bureaucrats and the Labour Party); a concern that contributory schemes would add to much to the costs of production (among employers and workers alike); and a worry about the racial coverage of contributory schemes. DA - 2006 DB - OpenUCT DP - University of Cape Town J1 - The Journal of African History LK - https://open.uct.ac.za PB - University of Cape Town PY - 2006 T1 - “Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924-1929 TI - “Not a single white person should be allowed to go under”: Swartgevaar and the origins of South Africa’s welfare state, 1924-1929 UR - http://hdl.handle.net/11427/19492 ER - en_ZA


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