11 Morality, Austerity and the Complexities of Sexual and Reproductive Health Services for Young People in South Africa

  • Kelley Moult
  • Alexandra Müller


Healthcare service provision for young people in South Africa is a complex landscape—balancing youth and human rights, numerous laws, legally and professionally mandated obligations, and a tenuous and resource-strained implementation context, all set against the backdrop of a highly charged and morally contested area of state-based service provision. Sexual and reproductive health services (SRH) are therefore a far-from-settled arena—either for the healthcare workers who provide services, or for the young people who need to access them. In straddling the divide between official policies and client claims, front-line service providers, so-called street-level bureaucrats, often become disdainful of the ‘ungrounded’ directives from lawmakers and politicians who are perceived as out of touch with implementation realities (Maynard-Moody and Musheno 2003). These conflicts are compounded in neo-Liberal environments of limited infrastructure and resources, such as the South African public health system.


Service Provision Sexual Offence National Health Insurance Scheme Reproductive Health Service Statutory Offence 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kelley Moult
    • 1
  • Alexandra Müller
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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