Building an inclusive social protection system in South Africa

South Africa has an incomplete social protection system without a mandatory pension savings scheme. Designing a universal insurance pension system would allow to reduce the important government funded pension grant system and ensure that the old-age population has decent income. Only 40% of employees are contributing to a form of saving-retirement scheme, with often a low pension. Moreover, South Africa has a dual, public and private, health care system. Half of the country’s health-care spending goes to the private sector, which covers only 16% of the population. Moreover, the health care system fails to deliver affordable quality services. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the unequal distribution of health care services between public and private health providers. Around 70% of critical care beds available were in the private health care sector. Finally, the sizeable unconditional cash transfer system though reaching a large share of the population fail to lift many children in the poorest families above the poverty line.

Published on September 18, 2020

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