SA from colonial, racial capitalism to a neo-liberal , first world, capitalist enclave.

Although the black elite – both the bourgeoisie and petit bourgeoisie – has been adopted as a junior partner, the new system has retained a racial character; it is still a white-controlled enclave in a sea of black poverty

“ the economic system has been changed over the past 30 years from one of colonial and racial capitalism to a neo-liberal , first world, capitalist enclave that is disengaging itself from a large part of the black labour force . Although the black elite – both the bourgeoisie and petit bourgeoisie – has been adopted as a junior partner, the new system has retained a racial character; it is still a white-controlled enclave in a sea of black poverty”. (Terreblanche 2003: 422)

This transition has, as Terreblanche observes, coincided with the introduction of a system of representative democracy but has not been fundamentally altered by it. In a similar vein, Seekings and Nattrass (2005: 1) use the concept of a ‘distributional regime’ to analyse economic policy both during and after apartheid.

Despite elements of redistribution and social protection since 1994, such as welfare grants and collective bargaining agreements, they argue that the economic system that was created under apartheid continues to redistribute wealth from poor to rich remains largely intact, thereby perpetuating extreme inequality and poverty. Under democratic government, these policies have largely continued, albeit accompanied by de-racialisation of the upper and middle strata and major increases in spending on social services and infrastructure.

Continuity is most evident in the persistently high level of unemployment (arguably more than one-third of the labour force) and extremely low wages at the bottom of the ladder. This combination of high unemployment – at rates higher than those experienced under apartheid – and low wages have served to increase economic inequality in the democratic era, particularly within the black population, as well as increasing the rate of absolute poverty (Seekings and Nattrass 2005: 340).

 

 

 


sources:

1.Terreblanche, S. 2003. A History of Inequality in South Africa 1652-2002. Scottsville: University of Natal Press.2.Seekings, J. and Nattrass, N. 2005. Class, Race, And Inequality In South Africa. Yale University Press.3.http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/Outputs/ESRC_DFID/60332_Lahiff_Redistributive.pdf.

The Poor Households have not shared in the benefits of Economic Growth in SA

The connection between state economic policy and the perpetuation of poverty and inequality is no accident, but a direct and foreseeable consequence of particular policy choices that have privileged the more ‘advanced’ components of the economy at the expense of the mass of the poor.

The poverty gap has grown faster than the economy indicating that poor households have not shared in the benefits of economic growth. In 1996 the total poverty gap [the required annual income transfer to bring all households out of poverty] was equivalent to 6.7% of gross domestic product (GDP); by 2001 it had risen to 8.3%.

This rise in inequality is captured in South Africa’s Gini coefficient for income, which rose from 0.69 in 1996 to 0.77 in 2001, with the greatest degree of inequality being found within the black (African) population group: ‘the overall driver of income inequality in post-Apartheid South Africa continues to be the rising inequality amongst African households’ (HSRC 2004).

Poverty is closely correlated with race and gender and is concentrated in rural areas. Limpopo and the Eastern Cape provinces have the highest proportion of poor people, with 77% and 72% of their populations living below the poverty income line, respectively, in 2001. The Western Cape has the lowest proportion in poverty, at 32% of the population, followed by Gauteng, at 42% (HSRC 2004). Bhorat and Kanbur (2006: 4) point out, however, that while there are higher rates of poverty in rural than in urban areas, the proportion of the total poor who reside in rural areas is declining, from 62% in 1996 to 56% in 2001: “This suggests a rapid process of urban migration that could in the future reshape the spatial nature of poverty in South Africa’.

Female-headed households also tend to be disproportionately poor, which Woolard and Leibbrandt (1999) attribute to a combination of factors: ‘female-headed households are more likely to be in the rural areas where poverty is concentrated, female-headed households tend to have fewer adults of working age, female unemployment rates are higher and the wage gap between male and female earnings persists’. Aliber (2001: 29) reports that, in 1999, 42% of all African households (i.e. 2.7 million) were female-headed, and that roughly 28% of these households were ‘chronically poor’.

While South Africa is often praised for its economic turnaround in the years since apartheid, and positive macroeconomic performance – as indicated by growth in GDP5, modest inflation, a falling proportion of GDP in taxation, falling budget deficit etc. – poverty, inequality and unemployment remain stubbornly impervious to policy prescriptions.

The connection between state economic policy and the perpetuation of poverty and inequality is no accident, but a direct and foreseeable consequence of particular policy choices that have privileged the more ‘advanced’ components of the economy at the expense of the mass of the poor. Terreblanche (2003: 422) describes this duality as ‘enclave capitalism’, a relatively new politico economic order that differs from the colonial and apartheid era in that it is no longer based on systematic exploitation of the black population, but rather on ‘systematic exclusion and systematic neglect’.

 

 
 ___________________
 source:
 Terreblanche, S. 2003. A History of Inequality in South Africa 1652-2002. Scottsville: University of Natal Press.2)HSRC (Human Sciences Research Council), 2003. Land redistribution for agricultural Development: Case studies in three provinces. Unpublished report. Integrated Rural and Regional Development division, HSRC, Pretoria. October 2003.3)Aliber, M. and Mokoena, R. 2003. ‘The Land Question in contemporary South Africa’ in John Daniel, Adam Habib and Roger Southall (eds) State of the Nation. South Africa 2003 – 2004. Cape Town: HSRC Press.4)Woolard, I. and Leibbrandt, M. 1999. Measuring Poverty in South Africa. Development Policy Research Unit University of Cape Town. DPRU Working Papers No 99/33.5)http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/Outputs/ESRC_DFID/60332_Lahiff_Redistributive.pdf

South Africa is an upper-middle-income country

South Africa is an upper-middle-income country. Despite this relative wealth, the experience of the majority of South African households is either one of outright poverty, or of continued vulnerability to becoming poor. The distribution of income and wealth in South Africa may be the most unequal in the world.

While various positions are advanced, there is broad agreement that poverty exists on a vast scale, that it is closely correlated with race and that, by many indicators, the situation has deteriorated since the transition to democracy.

South Africa is an upper-middle income country. Despite this relative wealth, the experience of the majority of South African households is either one of outright poverty,or of continued vulnerability to becoming poor. The distribution of income and wealth in South Africa may be the most unequal in the world.

According to the HSRC (2004) the proportion of people living in poverty in South Africa in 2001 was 57%, unchanged from 1996, but that the extent of poverty (i.e. how far people are below the poverty income line) grew over this period:

The poverty gap has grown faster than the economy indicating that poor households have not shared in the benefits of economic growth. In 1996 the total poverty gap [the required annual income transfer to bring all households out of poverty] was equivalent to 6.7% of gross domestic product (GDP); by 2001 it had risen to 8.3%.



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source:http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/Outputs/ESRC_DFID/60332_Lahiff_Redistributive.pdf in the article REDISTRIBUTIVE LAND REFORM AND POVERTY REDUCTION IN SOUTH AFRICA-Edward Lahiff

The Need for Redistribution of Land Reform in South Africa -P1

Today, South Africa has one of most unequal distributions of income in the world, and income and quality of life are strongly correlated with race, location and gender. The political compromise that ensued left much of the power and wealth of the white minority, including land ownership, more or less intact.

The extent of land dispossession of the indigenous population in South Africa, by Dutch and British settlers, was greater than any other country in Africa and persisted for an exceptionally long time.

By the twentieth century, most of the county, including most of the best agricultural land, was reserved for the minority white settler population, with the African majority confined to just 13% of the territory, the ‘native reserves’, later known as African Homelands or Bantustans.

Over thirteen million black people, the majority of them poverty-stricken remained crowded into the former homelands, where rights to land were generally unclear or contested and the system of land administration was in disarray.

Today, South Africa has one of most unequal distributions of income in the world, and income and quality of life are strongly correlated with race, location and gender. The political compromise that ensued left much of the power and wealth of the white minority, including land ownership, more or less intact.

The Constitutional clause on property guaranteed the rights of existing owners but also granted specific rights of redress to victims of past dispossession.

South African agriculture is highly dualistic in nature, where a highly-developed and generally large-scale commercial sector, controlled largely by whites, on privately-owned land, co-exists with large numbers of small-scale and mainly subsistence-oriented black farms on communally-held land.

South Africa had a thriving African peasant sector in the early twentieth century, but this was systematically destroyed by the white settler regime on behalf of mine-owners demanding cheap labour and white farmers demanding access to both land and cheap labour.

One such estimate in the mid-1990s found that, among black rural households, 67.7% considered themselves in need of land, with provincial figures ranging from 40% in the Northern Cape and North West to 78.3% in KwaZulu-Natal.

 


source:http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/Outputs/ESRC_DFID/60332_Lahiff_Redistributive.pdf.by Edwin Lahiff accessed28/07/16

On Surviving the Madness of South Africa

Originally posted on The Disco Pants Blog:
Yoh, masekinders – even the most patriotic and loved-up among us would have a hard time denying that living in this country can be a bit like living with an abusive parent; you know, those really bemal ones you see in Eminem videos where the children hide in…

Yoh, masekinders – even the most patriotic and loved-up among us would have a hard time denying that living in this country can be a bit like living with an abusive parent; you know, those really bemal ones you see in Eminem videos where the children hide in cupboards and then turn out a bit funny. And when you mention the word apartheid to the white people and hear what they say back you realise they have definitely been living in a cupboard for most of their lives. A huge one. More like a walk-in closet with a chandelier and vending machines and a cocktail bar so they’ve never had any reason to step out of it.

And all of us, even the ones who do come out of our metaphorical walk-in closets now and again and go to Shoprite to remind ourselves that we are not, in fact, living in San Fransisco, have turned out a bit funny. And you can’t blame us. It’s mad here. One minute you’re sitting at the Grand on the Beach having a lovely pomegranate daiquiri and some tuna ceviche because #paleo and wondering if that jacket will still be at the Waterfront tomorrow, and next you’ve got a rock coming through your windscreen because somebody is properly annoyed at having to spend another winter in a corrugated iron box and there goes your Woollies handbag and Marc Jacobs sunglasses and your iPhone that still has a picture of your boobs in black and white because #art.

No wonder we’re all bedondered, and that when we hear of another person emigrating to Queensland it makes us reach for the Alzam. Because, what do they know that we don’t? Are we going to be dead in our beds by next Thursday? Sometimes I have delusional episodes where I think to myself, but Europe’s not that grey, and California does look quite nice on Facebook. I have these episodes especially when I read letters to Max du Preez from President Zuma’s son calling him a ‘lier’. At those times I even manage to convince myself that living in Europe was fun, which shows you how hysterical one can get.

But then I pour myself a stiff (Inveroche) gin and come to my senses. Somewhat. As much as one who is a South African is capable of coming to their senses. And I have thoughts like this: nothing really matters, and even the things that do matter don’t matter all that much. And: life is, after all, less a complete thing than a series of moments held together in sequence, so the ‘bigger picture’ must remain remote and always a bit more conceptual than real, if you get my meaning. And for the Queensland situation, I have to say that my moments in South Africa – even given the odd rock episode – are moments that feel more like real life than the ones I’ve spent in other parts of the world. There is more humanity, more connectedness, more something that – even in my darkest hours of uncertainty and fear for the future – won’t allow itself to be ignored.

So many examples scattered over the days and the years, but two that spring to mind as I write this: finding myself at the end of my grocery shop (at Shoprite) with four bags and two hands, and the woman who packed my stuff automatically picking up two of my packets and saying she’ll carry them for me. She has no idea where my car is and doesn’t ask. I could have parked in Roggebaai for all she knows. All she sees is that I need help and that she can provide it. My car battery dying while I’m on the school run and my husband is overseas. Managing to get us all to the service station and telling the mechanic what had happened and that I was grateful to have made it. And him, without thinking, writing his cell phone number down for me and telling me if I ever get stuck again to give him a call, no problem. And I have not a moment’s doubt in my mind that he meant it. I know for sure that these things don’t happen everywhere on the planet.

One day a week I’ve been teaching at a university for bright kids who didn’t get bursaries. I don’t know how to say this without lapsing into cliché, but they’re great people, and the best antidote ever when I’m feeling suicidal after reading the paper is to go to my classroom and hang out with them. Just talk to them, hear what they think, listen to their views. Some of them are poor as hell but they’re switched-on and sharp and determined to change their worlds. And then I drive home in my nice car and think, if they can be positive, what excuse do I have? And I consider the fact that maybe the biggest challenge of all about living in South Africa is accepting the ambiguity; the fact that you’re never going to know for sure what the future, or even tomorrow, holds. This country has been on the verge of disaster for 400 years, if not more, but somehow we still manage to pop a Kaapse Vonkel and get on with life.

It would be nice to be able to navigate the world without the constant fear of that snotklap coming out of nowhere and taking you down just when you least expected it. But that’s not the deal here, and you can’t have everything. Here, you live on your toes. You bop and weave and skei for the gangster and keep your windows locked and tell the car guard he’s getting fuckall because he wasn’t here when you parked and the petrol attendant greets you like you’re his long-lost best friend and you donate your savings to your cleaner’s child so she can go to tech. Then you crap on the guy trying to mug you because does he even actually know how much you just spent on your sushi dinner and he says sorry and slinks away (true story). None of it makes sense; none of it ever will. It’s not America or Australia because it’s better and madder and richer. It’s real and broken and deluded and the only place I’ll ever call home.

We’ve been living back in South Africa for seven years now. In that time I’ve lost a measure of naiveté, gone mad with frustration, gained hope in humankind and felt more warmth and love than I know how to quantify. I have never, for a second, looked back; just been affirmed that we made the right choice. Maybe the harsh circumstances with which life presents itself here brings out the kindness in people, but there is something inside me that opens up. It makes me want to be nicer and  more switched on to the world around me. It elicits something gentle and good which I didn’t find in myself much when I lived overseas and never had to be anything but white and middle class. It’s hard to explain, but there is a part of me that becomes more of who I am here amidst the craziness of this struggling country. Unforgivably sentimental, but also true and real.

At my local Spar I’m regularly assisted by a cashier called Moreblessings. Her name is engraved on a piece of plastic pinned to her lapel. It makes me happy every time I see it, maybe because it sums up what I feel about life in SA. It will never follow the rules of logic. It will always feel wild and slightly out of control, but also beautiful and authentic and extraordinary and free. Like life is supposed to be. And I walk back to my car thinking, where else in the world are you going to find a cashier called Moreblessings? Nowhere, folks. Just, nowhere. And I thank my lucky stars.

The Disco Pants Blog

south africa flag

Yoh, masekinders – even the most patriotic and loved-up among us would have a hard time denying that living in this country can be a bit like living with an abusive parent; you know, those really bemal ones you see in Eminem videos where the children hide in cupboards and then turn out a bit funny. And when you mention the word apartheid to the white people and hear what they say back you realise they have definitely been living in a cupboard for most of their lives. A huge one. More like a walk-in closet with a chandelier and vending machines and a cocktail bar so they’ve never had any reason to step out of it.

And all of us, even the ones who do come out of our metaphorical walk-in closets now and again and go to Shoprite to remind ourselves that we are not, in fact, living…

View original post 1,184 more words

Is Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) Working?

BEE or Black Economic Empowerment is a tool employed by the South African government supposedly to address the racial injustices of the past and to also redress the economic imbalances created by South Africas past apartheid system.

The other organisations which participated in this alliance included the allies of the ANC, the South African Indian Congress, the South African Congress of Democrats and the Coloured Peoples Congress.

Nelson Mandela’s brand of Black economic empowerment included a complete overhaul of the national economy, where the state decisively intervenes to change the very structures of the economy.

History has it that it was not until 1992 at that conference, Davos at the World Economic Forum when Nelson Mandela finally and completely dropped his pursuit for Black economic empowerment through nationalisation.

Nelson Mandela and the ANC basically told these business people to continue in their ownership of South Africa’s economy and to give to black people whatever crumbs that fall off from their tables.

The reality is that without BEE there would not have been the same level of black participation in the economy, says Martin Kingston of Rothschild, which advises companies on BEE. Pitifully few black South Africans have grown rich by creating entirely new businesses, perhaps because it seems so much easier to make money by acquiring stakes in existing firms.

The collapse in stock prices in 2008 left many would-be tycoons with assets that were worth less than the loans taken out to buy them.

The binding constraint on greater black participation in the economy is education, says Lucy Holborn from the South African Institute of Race Relations, a think-tank that has called for BEE to be scrapped.

The proportion of professionals who are black is 36%, fairly close to the share of degrees held by blacks, which is around 40%.

 

source:http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/BEE-South-Africas-great-injustice-20131106.(2)http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21576655-black-economic-empowerment-has-not-worked-well-nor-will-it-end-soon-fools-gold.

Why does the Minority live better than the Majority?

I really have no time for party politics and for whatever statistics the DA, ANC and others can regurgitate to justify this injustice, it means nothing when the reality is before our eyes!

I really have no time for party politics and for whatever statistics the DA, ANC and others can regurgitate to justify this injustice, it means nothing when the reality is before our eyes!

Despite having our fancy constitution we are content with people living in slum conditions. Oh yes, they are truly grateful for your electrical, water and sanitation connections – so long as they keep within the fence and not be allowed to cross over to our “group areas” – I see the attitudes when a “black” family moves into a “white’ neighbourhood…how it triggers ethnic migration.

Why does the minority have so much of the resources whilst the majority are packed like sardines in their carefully structured confinements?

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The Majority

 

 

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The Minority