Jelena Vidojević Advocates for Welfare Reform in GGF Article: A Step Towards Public Good in South Africa


We are pleased to share a recent article penned by Jelena Vidojević, a research fellow and co-founder of the New South Institute (NSI), published on the Global Government Forum (GGF) on July 30th, 2023. In this insightful piece, Vidojevic addresses the pressing need for comprehensive welfare reform in South Africa to bridge socio-economic divisions and foster the public good.

Vidojević analyses the complexity of poverty in South Africa, attributing its persistence to economic growth patterns that fail to accommodate low-skilled and unemployed individuals. The author further notes how the adoption of international managerial models of governance in the 1990s, though promoting efficiency, resulted in a shift away from realising public good, visible in stark socio-economic disparities across South Africa’s residential landscapes.

The article expresses that the public good in South Africa can be advanced not by replicating external models but by understanding and adapting to the local context. The author critiques the ANC’s (African National Congress) social policy, which, despite a favourable starting point post-Apartheid, did not adequately expand ‘welfare’. She argues that the social grants system, although beneficial to a certain extent, fundamentally excludes many, resulting in unsustainable human and financial costs.

In the face of new challenges, Vidojević calls for a new social settlement and the revival of ‘universalism’ in policy debates. She stresses the need to tackle traditional socio-economic divisions and introduce measures that address new social risks. The article concludes that successful public policy must construct institutions that universally work in the interest of the public good.

We invite you to read Jelena Vidojević’s full article at the Global Government Forum. She provides a thoughtful analysis and arguments for South Africa’s socio-economic challenges, offering valuable recommendations for the country and similar nations worldwide.

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