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Where faith is a healer: assessing faith-based organisations' strategies and their partnership with government towards poverty alleviation: case study of PACSA and Gift of the Givers in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa).

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The modern conception of a liberal democratic state envisages that the state takes on the duty and hegemony of realizing the values of equal liberty and distributive justice to its citizens. This is supposedly achieved by ensuring that all citizens, through the agents of state, receive proper social services which are dividends of a liberal democratic state. However, empirical facts show that this projected vision of a liberal democratic system is not always realised. This scenario is evident in South Africa; twenty years of democracy has not yielded much improvement and the rights of the people is yet to be realised for example as seen in the province of Kwazulu Natal. It is a known fact that the province still experiences serious cases of poverty and developmental problems and this constitutes a main challenge to the province. In the light of failures of state apparatuses to deliver the much needed social services, it is left for other non-state actors, civil society (for example FBOs) to remedy the situation. Assessing the roles of these non-state actors in development of societies has taken the limelight in current scholarly discussions on the politics of the state. This study is embedded in these burgeoning body of work and uniquely seek to assess the role that faith-based actors play and how they can possibly help in poverty alleviation and development within the context of the study. The study adopts the Capability Approach and the State in Society Approach to specifically examine the role that two faith-based Organisations play and how to understand their partnership with government towards poverty alleviation, human development and service delivery in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.


Doctor of Philosophy in Politics. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg 2016.


Gift of the Givers Foundation (Organization), Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action., Poverty--Social aspects--South Africa--KwaZulu-Natal., Poverty--South Africa--KwaZulu-Natal--Religious aspects., Faith-based human services--South Africa--KwaZulu-Natal., Religious institutions--Political aspects--South Africa--KwaZulu-Natal., Theses -- Politics.