UJ Helen Joseph Memorial Lecture explores the impact of social grants

​​​South Africa’s social grants programme reaches over 16 million people and is one of the country’s largest social development programmes. There is a public and political debate on whether the grants might be doing more harm than good.


The question: “Do social grants create more problems than they solve?”, will be the key topic at the University of Johannesburg’s (UJ) eighth annual Helen Joseph Memorial Lecture. The Helen Joseph Memorial Lecture will be held in the Council Chambers, Madibeng Building, Auckland Park Kingsway Campus on Monday, 14 October 2013 at 18:00.
Professor Leila Patel, Director of the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) at UJ will be the keynote speaker at the Lecture. “Negative views exist about the role of social grants in fostering dependency on the state, in encouraging teenage pregnancy, in the misuse of state funds as well as the view that grants are a drain on public resources,” says Professor Patel.
“In the run up to the national general elections in 2014, some commentators and political leaders have also argued that grants are a way of securing votes for the ANC. What should one make of these discourses? How should one evaluate these arguments? And, what are the prospects for social grants in light of this public dialogue? These questions will be answered during the Helen Joseph Memorial Lecture.”
Professor Patel will consider some of the research evidence on these issues including recent research conducted by UJ’s CSDA on the voting behaviour of grant beneficiaries in two urban communities in Johannesburg.
Short Biography of Professor Patel:
Leila Patel is the Director of the Centre for Social Development in Africa at UJ. The CSDA conducts leading edge research in social development and publishes a wide range of reports and academic publications on poverty, social grants, gender and development, disability, youth assets, social welfare and state, civil society and Corporate Social Responsibility partnerships for development. She is the author/co-author of three books: Restructuring Social Welfare: The Options for South Africa (1992); A Situation Analysis of Women and Children in South Africa (Ed) (1993), and Social Welfare and Social Development in South Africa (2005). Forthcoming books are a second edition of Social Welfare and Social Development in South Africa, to be published in 2015, and a book titled Social Protection in Southern Africa (co-edited)due in November 2013.
Previously, Prof Patel was the head of the Department of Social Work at UJ, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice-Principal at Wits University, and Director General of Social Welfare in the Mandela government. She is the author of the White Paper for Social Welfare (1997) and was an anti-apartheid and gender activist in the 1980s and a founder member of the UDF.
Helen Joseph Memorial Lecture: Do social grants create more problems than they solve?
Please join Professor Patel as she explores the impact of social grants
Date: Monday, 14 October 2013
Time: 17:30 for 18:00
Venue: Council Chambers, Madibeng Building, University of Johannesburg, Kingsway Campus
RSVP: humanities1@uj.ac.za


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