Round table discussion at the National Planning Commission Reply

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Prof Derick Blaauw was among a number of government, educational and non-governmental role-players invited by the National Planning Commission to attend a Roundtable Discussion on the Social Protection Floor and Cost of Living. The event formed part of a series of research engagements as part of the NDP’s focus to eradicate poverty by 2030. The event took place in Pretoria on the 8th of May 2017.  The revised White Paper on Social Welfare as well as draft paper titled “Analysing the impact of State services on the cost of living for the poor” formed the basis of the discussion. The paper was prepared and presented by Dr. Neva Makgetla as a technical and policy discussion on research pertaining to issues that needs to be reviewed for improved standard of living and social protection. The discussion focused on the quality of life for the poor in South Africa in the context of promoting implementation of NDP.

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Research fieldwork taking place! Reply

Derick Nick fieldwork

Last week saw a multi-disciplinary research team active on the dump site in Potchefstroom. The team is busy with a research project examining food security and socio-economic conditions prevailing on landfill sites in South Africa where waste pickers carve out a living by gathering recyclables from the trash being dumped. Gathering recyclable waste has become a source of income for thousands of people in South Africa. There is no capital or start-up cost, no schooling or expertise needed and the waste picker has an assured buyer for the recyclable waste. The only real ability needed is the physical capacity to pick waste and to have access to waste and buy-back centres. Most informal waste pickers earn very low and uncertain levels of income and the socioeconomic and working conditions on the landfill sites remain unspeakable at times. Many face chronic poverty despite their attempts to generate a livelihood in the informal economy. This forms the background for the current project in terms of the food security and socio-economic conditions of these people. The project forms part of a bigger country-wide food security project, hosted within a number of academic institutions in South Africa.

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