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Social Welfare, Unemployment and Public Works in Rural Southern Mozambique

  • Ruth Castel-Branco
Chapter

Abstract

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.

Keywords

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

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

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

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