STRATEGIES/POLICIES TO REDUCE POVERTY IN AFRICA
According to World Bank Group report, more than 3.5 millions South Africans are pulled out from poverty through fiscal policy which diverts resources to raise the income of the poor through social spending programs. The function of fiscal policy is to redistribute income, reduce inequality and substantially lower poverty in the country. The report shows that the poorest in South Africa benefit from social spending programs such as spending on education and health. Fiscal policy is working by taxing the income of the rich people more than poor people and using social spending to boost the incomes of the poorest.
Based on Africa Development Bank (2013), infrastructure development is one of the strategies to reduce poverty in Africa. The bank will invest in infrastructure that opens the private sector’s potential, fight for gender equality and community participation. It will help to improve the skills for competitiveness, ensuring that the skills are better suited to local job market opportunities. Africa still has huge infrastructure needs. Infrastructure also promotes human development by improving citizens’ access to social services and fostering more inclusive societies.
According to Motshine A. Sekhaulelo (2014), by reforming churches in South Africa (RCSA) can employ for poverty alleviation in the South African urban communities. It is stated in the article that the author refers to the local churches that constitute a family of churches or church organization by RCSA. The function of the RCSA are the churches stood at the forefront of giving freely to the poor, caring for widows, taking in destitute orphans, visiting the sick, and caring for the dying.
National minimum wage also is the strategy to reduce poverty. Merwe (2017) article stated that the allocation of both social grants and a national minimum wage amount to a good thing, reducing inequality, alleviating poverty and increasing spending power among the country’s poorest, whether they are employed or not. With the national minimum wage implementation, the poor at least have money to survive in daily life.
In addition, Leibbrandt, M., Wegner, E., Finn, A. (2011) said in their research paper that education is the good policy for poverty reduction. Education spending has concentrated on improving the situation of poor area and, to some extent, poor schools, while keeping relatively high levels of funding for the formerly privileged schools. Given the high disparities in the quality of these schools at the moment of the transition, such policies that are directed only at the poor will take a long time to bridge the gap between schools. The same might be true for inequality in general.
Lastly, based on Daouda Sembene (2017), there has been a growing interest in poverty reduction across Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries. It is stated that unconditional cash transfers, conditional cash transfers, in kind transfer schemes and public works programs are the strategies of poverty reduction in SSA.
World Bank (2014), South Africa Economic Update: Fiscal Policy and Redistribution in an Unequal Society. Retrieved from : http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/southafrica/publication/south-africa-economic-update-fiscal-policy-redistribution-unequal-society
African Development Bank (2013), At the Center of Africa’s Transformation: Ten Year Strategy 2013 – 2022, AfDB: Tunis.Retrieved from : https://www.afdb.org/fileadmin/uploads/afdb/Documents/Policy-Documents/AfDB_Strategy_for_2013%E2%80%932022_-_At_the_Center_of_Africa%E2%80%99s_Transformation.pdf
Sekhaulelo, M.A., 2014, ‘Reformed Churches in South Africa’s strategies for poverty reduction in urban communities’, In die Skriflig 48(1), Art. #1788, 10 pages. Retrieved from : https://indieskriflig.org.za/index.php/skriflig/article/view/1788/2838
Daouda Sembene (2017), African strategies to boost growth and combat poverty and inequality. Retrieved from : https://www.un.org/development/desa/dspd/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/04/Daouda-Sembene-African-strategies-to-boost-growth-and-combat-poverty-PPT-Presentation.pdf
Marelise van der Merwe (2017), SA’s poverty alleviation plans: Almost, but not quite. Retrieved from : https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2017-02-23-sas-poverty-alleviation-plans-almost-but-not-quite/#.WsJxz_lubIV
Leibbrandt, M., Wegner, E., Finn, A. (2011). The Policies for Reducing Income Inequality and Poverty in South Africa. A Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit Working Paper Number 64. Cape Town: SALDRU, University of Cape Town. Retrieved from : http://www.opensaldru.uct.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11090/79/2011_64.pdf?sequence=1