Social Problems

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According to Ferreira (2005:86), four elements may be discerned when attempting to define a social problem. The four elements are: a pressure (influential) group; a social condition; a set of values and norms; and collective action.
Taking these four elements as building blocks the following definition of a social problem may be arrived at: A social condition, known to a pressure group as posing a threat to current values and norms, that requires collective action to rectify (Pretorius, Le Roux, Lesufi, Liebenberg, Martin Rautenbach & Zegeye in Ferreira 2005:87).
In the sections that follow I will attempt to clarify each one of the four elements that constitute the definition of a social problem.

The crux of the matter here regards
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Today, Africa’s rate of urbanization is second to none (Tibaijuka in de Beer, du Plessis, Liebenberg & Moloi 2005:116). At the eve of independence, during the 60’s for a handful of African countries, urbanization, in most cases, was well sought after (social condition). Western powers had developed following paths of industrialization and urbanization and the same was thought possible in Africa (pressure groups). The basic tenants of this assumption went as follows: Capital distributed from the West to Africa was to be invested in industrial enterprises in centers that wielded political power. This newly found industry would promote manufacturing and encourage domestic savings. Jobs would be created and the capital accumulated reinvested in development projects (de Beer et al 2005: 115-125). And thus, by following this path Africa would become self-sufficient (values and norms).
However, five decades later Africa has failed to develop as rapidly or to the extent to which the West has. Urban poverty escalates daily. A handful of problems face the African city: insufficient provision of jobs, poorly delivered public services, a weakening revenue base, and escalating pollution levels. According to de Beer et al. (2005:116-117), it is projected that by 2030 half of Africa’s population will have become urbanized, most of whom will live in poverty (social problem).

There are some solutions on offer. Urban agriculture, albeit somewhat controversial, has

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