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Balancing social welfare and private maintenance: the alleviation of poverty in South Africa

South African (family) lawyers continue to focus on the private maintenance obligation as the primary instrument for alleviating poverty. In line with political and economic policy promoting a shift away from welfare to a developmental state, they underestimate the risks to our democracy and the maintenance of the rule of law arising from social unrest driven by the persistence of high levels of poverty and inequality, coupled with unfulfilled government promises of job creation and economic growth. An interpretation by the courts of the socio-economic right to social assistance which would be faithful to the transformational vision of the Constitution formed the central tenet of the project. Several conference presentations were given on the topic locally and internationally which included the comparative, economic and socio-political aspects. An article entitled

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