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Disability and povertyA global challenge$
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Arne H. Eide and Benedicte Ingstad

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428851

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428851.001.0001

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“We too are disabled”: disability grants and poverty politics in rural South Africa

“We too are disabled”: disability grants and poverty politics in rural South Africa

Chapter:
(p.93) Five “We too are disabled”: disability grants and poverty politics in rural South Africa
Source:
Disability and poverty
Author(s):

Camilla Hansen

Washeila Sait

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428851.003.0006

This chapter examines the relationship between disability and poverty in the new democratic South Africa. During this country's transitional period, a new conceptual understanding of disability has mainstreamed disability in new policies and laws. The anthropological material presented here shows how these processes of programme implementation have shaped people's social experiences in rural areas of the Eastern Cape, around Mthatha. The history of apartheid, with its establishment of structural inequalities, has created a specific type of poverty forming people's social experiences as well as their understanding of disability. The chapter also discusses the local conceptualising of disability and Ubuntu in the surrounding areas of Mthatha. In this setting, disability grants are a tool of survival for both the person with a disability and the household. In addition, the grants contribute to establishing a commonly shared disability category that people make use of.

Keywords:   South Africa, disability, poverty, Mthatha, apartheid, structural inequalities, Ubuntu

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