Tag Archives: inequality

South Africa’s policy choices unwittingly reinforce poverty

Statistician general Pali Lehohla has reminded us, yet again, that our stubborn and rising structural unemployment demonstrates that economic growth is still elusive and that our growth strategies are not delivering the intended outcomes. He also observes that the level of foreign and domestic investment is too low to create new businesses and jobs. The…

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Selfless leadership could fix South Africa

The #FeesMustFall movement is a dress rehearsal for the revolution South Africa will face unless we fix our socio-economic conundrum of inequality, poverty and unemployment. This will require leadership! It will require “bridge builders” who are not beholden to vested interests and can lead for the common good. It will require technical skill to empower…

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Why I have decided to vote for a pro-poor political party

I have made my voting choice. Here is my thinking. Firstly, these are local elections and, as a result, no major policy can be tested. I am also not certain that this election, or even our next national elections, are going to lead to any substantial transformation no matter who we vote for. I do…

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Umngqusho, koeksisters and defining South African culture

Being a vegetarian I never imagined that I would find myself (happily) plating 12 dishes of a braised sheep’s head and fried chicken feet. But these are the kinds of delicacies you end up serving if you’re ever tasked with showcasing South African food. “Smileys” and “walkie talkies” are what they’re called in Khayelitsha, where…

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Global inequality is much worse than we thought

It’s familiar news by now. According to Oxfam, the richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world’s population combined. Global inequality is worse than at any time since the 19th century. For most people, this is all they know about global inequality. But Oxfam’s wealth figures don’t quite tell the whole…

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Urgently rethinking mental health in South Africa

As troops of psychologists flocked into Joburg last month, Emperors Palace morphed into a marketplace of ideas. My everyday work context is a busy public hospital setting, so as I prepared for this annual congress, mental health was on my mind. And it still is, because October is mental health month, and Saturday was World…

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Are we programmed for prejudice?

By Melanie Judge In offering a response to the question, “are we programmed for prejudice” I wish to make the case for why thinking about prejudice is incomplete without thinking about it alongside power. I will address this in two ways: Firstly, by problematizing dominant representations of the victims and perpetrators of prejudice, and how…

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The undignified existence of black women

By Sandile Tshabalala Black women remain the most vulnerable to the endless socioeconomic realities of our society. In spite of this, we cannot ignore the existence of wealthy, motivated and healthy women. It is imperative to grapple with the right to “human dignity” afforded to all South Africans but barely enjoyed by ordinary black women,…

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The pointless hypocrisy of pretending to be homeless

The eThekwini Municipality recently offered “an opportunity of a lifetime” for residents to sleep on the streets – for a night. Along with I-Care, a non-profit helping homeless kids, the purpose was to give people a taste of the hardships experienced by being homeless. “Participants will spend one evening with homeless people of the city…

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Why we’re wrong to celebrate CEOs for simulating poverty for 12 hours

By Natasha Skoryk and Caitlin Spring We’re a generation of clicktivists, incessantly raising awareness for a wide assortment of causes and social justice issues. But we rarely follow through with any tangible action or put our money where our “shares” are. So, logically, when initiatives do attempt to physically address societal problems, we should be…

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