Tag Archives: poverty

Are South Africans really all capitalists at heart?

The South African news cycle often is awash with nationalist rhetoric from the emerging and vocal opposition, raging against the African National Congress. These quasi-socialists hold out an image of an economically liberated Southern Africa, a picture of Mzansi at peace on the land – their land. The capitalists too have a vision for South…

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Where is the wealth Malema wants to redistribute?

In a conversation about South Africa’s socio-economic malaise with a thoughtful sociologist from abroad, he asked the burning question that is shaping South African politics: “where is the wealth?” We talk often in South Africa about wealth redistribution, black economic empowerment and socio-economic rights. Our constitution at the outset sketches a socially just society as…

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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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Has the time for ‘talks about talks’ come in SA?

The student protests of the last year are reminiscent of the 1976 student uprisings. Those protests were the precursor to a political change in South Africa less than a decade later. When young, educated “born free” South Africans express anger and impatience it’s time to pay attention. They have shown they want action. They want…

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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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The psychology of hope and earning a livelihood in South Africa

Dr Gloria Marsay South Africa continues to face an economic-socio-political crisis. The harsh reality of South Africa’s economic crisis suggests one of the highest Gini Coefficients in the world. Unemployment figures continue to rise. The draft policy issued by the Department of Higher Education and Training reveals that 68% of South Africa’s unemployed are in…

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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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Tackle inequality vigorously to reduce racism and other social pathologies

A unique characteristic of South Africa as a society is the racialised structural inequality and unemployment inherited from the apartheid period. It was an intended and planned outcome of a warped strategy and a set of policy positions designed and rigorously implemented to achieve it. In a very weird way the outcome was hugely successful…

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Global poverty is worse than you think

A few weeks ago the World Bank changed the international poverty line from $1.25 to $1.90 (R27) a day. Normally, changes to the poverty line slide by without attracting much attention, but for some reason this time people got excited. At first glance, it looks as if the bank has finally admitted that the old…

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Neoliberal capitalism is a violence against women (16 days of activism)

Sixteen days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children is upon us again this year. As usual it will come and go but very little will change for the majority of women and children in South Africa. The middle class will be a little more aware of the heinous gender-based violence statistics that…

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