A Human Rights-Based Approach to Poverty: The South African Experience

  • Linda Jansen van Rensburg


There exist numerous definitions of poverty. Traditionally, poverty has been associated with a lack of resources.1 The more recent concept of social exclusion2 is now no longer seen as an alternative to the poverty concept, but as a more comprehensive concept, which concerns much more than money. In fact, poverty (referring to a lack of disposable income) can be seen as part of the multidimensional and dynamic concept of social exclusion (referring to multifaceted failure). Social exclusion, therefore, has to be understood with reference to the failure of any one or more of the following: (i) the democratic and legal system (civic integration); (ii) the labour market (economic integration); (iii) the welfare state system (social integration); and (iv) the family and community system (interpersonal integration).3


Human Dignity Social Protection Social Assistance Permanent Resident Social Grant 
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© United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2013

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  • Linda Jansen van Rensburg

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