Twelve years into democracy, South Africa is still facing deep-seated social and economic inequalities. The expanding divide between the rich and the poor emphasises the sharp division between the modern economy and the marginalised second economy, which characterises the two worlds in South Africa. South Africa’s macroeconomic policy fosters economic growth, which is essential for socio-economic development, but at the same time it also highlights the challenges required for development, which will benefit the majority of the population in South Africa. In line with a neoliberal capitalist macroeconomic policy, in which the role of the state is scaled down, Government’s Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA) calls on social partners to achieve social change through integrated social and economic development.
Prof. Lombard argued that social work, as one partner in social change, was well positioned to take up its role as facilitator of social reform in the new democracy. The relationship between developmental social welfare services, social security and the Expanded Public Works Programme was explored within the context of an integrated socio-economic development plan for reducing actual poverty on the one hand and empowerment for escaping poverty on the other. The challenges for social work in the integration of social and economic development for social change were outlined on both the micro and the macro level.
The lecture was concluded with an overview of the Department of Social Work and Criminology's current performance in relation to the identified challenges. Finally, the Department’s vision to further promote social change was expounded
Powerpoint presentation, text of inaugural address and photo of Prof. A. Lombard, Department of Social Work and Criminology, 24 October 2006.