Social Welfare, Unemployment and Public Works in Rural Southern Mozambique

  • Ruth Castel-Branco


Drawing on the case of the Productive Social Action Program (PASP)—a cash transfer scheme for able-bodied adults conditioned on participation in labour-intensive public works—this chapter argues that while public works programmes may not be an appropriate social protection instrument, they have the potential to contribute directly and indirectly to the creation of decent work. What forms public works take, however, depends very much on the class politics that underlie them. To transform the PASP from a highly ineffective and inefficient social protection programme into an entitlement-based employment guarantee requires delinking the provision of social welfare from participation in public works. This would allow for an analysis of how to expand social protection to able-bodied adults of working age through, for instance, an unemployment grant or basic income grant and how to improve working conditions on labour-intensive public works. However, for an employment guarantee scheme to be introduced in rural Mozambique, rural un(der)employment needs to be recognized. Given that dominant political narratives tend to portray rural areas as untouched by (global) capital and delinked from the market, this is a challenge. Nonetheless, the very existence of a PASP suggests that these narratives are being contested both nationally and internationally, creating a window of possibility to expand the programme.


Social Welfare Unemployment Public works Productive social action program (PASP) 


  1. Barchiesi, Franco. 2005. Social Citizenship and the Transformations of Wage Labour in the Making of Post-Apartheid South Africa, 1994–2001. PhD Dissertation. Johannesburg: University of the Witwatersrand.Google Scholar
  2. ———. 2011. Precarious Liberation: Workers, the State, and Contested Social Citizenship in Postapartheid South Africa. New York: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  3. Creamer, Terence. 2016. Sasol Investing $1.4bn to Grow Mozambique Gas Platform. Engineering News.
  4. Cunha, N., R. Castel-Branco, R. Vicente, A. Hodges, L. Pellerano, K. Selvester, and L. Guimarães. 2015. Avaliação Da Estratégia Nacional de Segurança Social Básica 2010–2014: Documento Síntese. Maputo: ILO and OPM.Google Scholar
  5. Diario do Governo. 1899. Lei Do Trabalhador Indigena n° 262 de 18.11.1899.Google Scholar
  6. Drèze, Jean, and Amartya Sen. 1991. The Political Economy of Hunger: Volume 1: Entitlement and Well-Being. Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. ———. 2013. An Uncertain Glory: India and Its Contradictions. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Farré, Albert. 2009. Formas de Investimento Das Poupanças No Local de Origem Por Parte Dos Emigrantes Do Sul de Moçambique. O Caso Do Distrito de Massinga (Inhambane). Conference Paper N23: 23. Maputo: IESE.Google Scholar
  9. Feijó, Joao, and Aleia Agy. 2015. Processos migratórios, trabalho agrícola e integração nos mercados – Efeitos da implementação de grandes projectos sobre comunidades camponesas. In Desafios para Moçambique 2015, António Francisco, Salvador Forquilha, Luís de Brito, Carlos Castel-Branco and Sérgio Chichava (Org.), 273–309. Maputo: Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos.Google Scholar
  10. Ferguson, James. 2015. Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution. Durham: Duke University Press Books.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. First, Ruth. 1983. Black Gold: The Mozambican Miner, Proletarian and Peasant. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  12. Harries, P. 1994. Work, Culture and Identity, Migrant Laborers in Mozambique and South Africa, c. 1860–1910. London: Heinemann and James Currey.Google Scholar
  13. ILO, UNICEF, Fórum de Monitoria e Orçamento, PSC-PS, and ROSC. 2016. 2016 Social Action Budget Brief. Maputo.Google Scholar
  14. INE. 2015. Relatório Final Do Inquérito Ao Orçamento Familiar- IOF 2014/15. Maputo: Instituto Nacional de Estatística.Google Scholar
  15. Junod, H. 1896. Grammaire Ronga : Suivie d’un Manuel de Conversation et d’un Vocabulaire Ronga-Portugais-Francais-Anglais pour Exposer et Illustrer les Lois du Ronga. Lausanne: Georges Bridel.Google Scholar
  16. Lavinas, Lena. 2013. 21st Century Welfare. New Left Review 84: 5.Google Scholar
  17. Legassick, Martin, and Harold Wolpe. 1976. The Bantustans and Capital Accumulation in South Africa. Review of African Political Economy 7: 87–107.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. McCord, Anna. 2012. Public Works and Social Protection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Do Public Works Work for the Poor? United Nations University. Tokyo: United Nations University Press.Google Scholar
  19. McCord, Anna, and Rachel Slater. 2015. Social Protection and Graduation through Sustainable Employment? IDS 42: 2.Google Scholar
  20. McCord, Anna, Rodolfo Beazley, Ana Solorzano, and Luis Artur. 2016. ICF Social Protection and Climate Change in Mozambique with a Focus on the Role of the PASP: Feasibility and Design Consultancy. Oxford: Oxford Policy Management.Google Scholar
  21. Menon, Sudha Venu. 2008. Right To Information Act and NREGA: Reflections on Rajasthan. In MPRA Paper 7351. Munich: University Library of Munich.Google Scholar
  22. Mkandawire, Thandika. 2001. Social Policy in a Development Context. Vol. 25. Geneva: United Nations Research Institute for Social Development Geneva.Google Scholar
  23. Mosoetsa, Sarah. 2011. Eating From One Pot: The Dynamics of Survival in Poor South African Households. Johannesburg: Wits University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Newitt, Malyn. 1995. A History of Mozambique. London: Hurst & Company.Google Scholar
  25. O’Laughlin, Bridget. 2016. Produtividade agrícola, planeamento e cultura de trabalho em Moçambique. In Desafios 2016. Maputo: Insituto de Estudos Sociais e Economicos.Google Scholar
  26. Olin Wright, Erik. 2006. Basic Income, Stakeholder Grants and Class Analysis. In Redesigning Distribution: Basic Income and Stakeholder Grants as Cornerstones for an Egalitarian Capitalism, ed. Bruce Ackerman, Anne Alstott, and Philippe Van Parijs. London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  27. Peck, Jamie. 2001. Workfare States. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  28. Pimpão, Alvaro Julio, and Ruben Villanueva. 2012. Avaliação de Processos: Projecto-Piloto de Trabalhos Intensivos Em Mão-de-Obra. Maputo: Instituto Nacional de Acção Social, Banco Mundial e Programa Mundial para a Alimentação.Google Scholar
  29. Quive, Samuel. 2004. Proteccao Social Em Mocambique. Maputo: FES.Google Scholar
  30. República de Moçambique. 2007. Lei Da Protecção Social no. 4–2007.Google Scholar
  31. ———. 2009. Regulamento Do Subsistema de Protecção Social Básica de Moçambique. Decreto n.° 85/2009.Google Scholar
  32. ———. 2010. Estratégia Nacional de Segurança Social Básica 2010–2014. Resolução do Conselho de Ministros n° 17/2010,Google Scholar
  33. ———. 2016. Estratégia Nacional de Segurança Social Básica 2016–2024. Google Scholar
  34. Sheldon, Kathleen. 2003. Markets and Gardens: Placing Women in the History of Urban Mozambique. Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue Canadienne Des études Africaines 37: 2–3.Google Scholar
  35. Standing, Guy. 2007. How Cash Transfers Boost Work and Economic Security, Trabajo Preliminar, 58.Google Scholar
  36. Van Parijs, Philippe. 2006. Basic Income: A Simple and Powerful Idea for the Twenty-First Century. In Redesigning Distribution: Basic Income and Stakeholder Grants as Cornerstones for an Egalitarian Capitalism, ed. Bruce Ackerman and Anne Alstott. London/New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  37. World Bank. 2012. Resilience, Equity and Opportunity: The World Bank’s Social Protection and Labor Strategy 2012–2022. Consultations Report. Also Available at
  38. World Bank Group. 2013. Project Appraisal Document on a Propose Credit in the Amount of SDR 32.5 million (US$50 million equivalent) to the Republic of Mozambique for a Social Protection Project. World Bank Group.Google Scholar
  39. Zelleke, Almaz. 2008. Institutionalizing the Universal Caretaker Through a Basic Income? Basic Income Studies 3 (3): 1–9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruth Castel-Branco
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa

Personalised recommendations