Traditional Social Security Systems in the face of Urbanization: Lessons from a Rural Community in Buhera District of Zimbabwe
Linah Ruparanganda, Beaula Ruparanganda, Augastine Tafirenyika Mupfanochiya
Social security is not new in Africa. Traditionally communities had ways of protecting their members against shocks such as death, sickness, old age, disability or hunger. These were organized around kinship and community ties. They are called traditional social security. Urbanization and industrialization continue to be cited as threats to their existence. This paper examines the status of traditional social security systems in the face of urbanization particularly, their existence, functions, threats and opportunities. Data were collected from a rural community in Zimbabwe using focus group discussions. Findings reflect a number of traditional social security mechanisms in existence namely, the chiefs’ granary, remittances, burial societies among others. These are useful in alleviating social ills in communities. Urbanization, industrialization and westernization pose both opportunities and threats to their survival. Recommendations include the need to incorporate traditional social security mechanisms in formal social security policy frameworks and programs among others.
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