Socio-economic crisis, social security, distributive justice, and vulnerable adults’ access to post-school education and training in South Africa

Emerging international theoretical perspectives illuminate new understandings about adults’ access to post-school education and training (PSET) in contexts of crisis. As the crisis brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds in South Africa, it draws attention to the socio-economic hardships confronting vulnerable black adults. Anticipated deepening poverty and unemployment will intensify as material barriers to PSET. How does the COVID-19 crisis invite us to rethink distributive justice in terms of social security in a context of crisis? How do the COVID-19 crisis, the socio-economic crisis and the government’s emergency social security measures inform our thinking about vulnerable adults’ future prospects for a sustainable life and, as potential adult learners, access to PSET? Conceptualising access to PSET in the context of the COVID-19 crisis, the pre-Covid-19 impending socio-economic crisis, and the government’s realisation of socioeconomic rights to new forms of social security generates new theoretical insights about the possibilities that an ‘above and beyond the minimum threshold’ of social insurance for vulnerable adults could improve access to PSET.