Redistribution – of assets and other forms of wealth p2

he main potential to reduce rural poverty and inequity lies in the development of overall frameworks providing social security, education and training as well as health care, and in developing adequate infrastructures in rural areas.

In a review of poverty and policy in South Africa in the first ten years of democracy, Bhorat and Kanpur (2006: 12-13) identify five main trends, which are largely hostile to the poor, albeit with some ameliorative effects:An increase in both absolute and relative income poverty.

An increase in both absolute and relative income poverty

An increase in income inequality

Increased unemployment rates (as growth in the labour force outstrips growth in employment)

A large fiscal resource shift that has engendered wider access to assets and basic services for poor households

‘Tepid’ economic growth rates, which have failed to keep pace with population growth.

“The first ten years have seen rising unemployment, rising income poverty and rising income inequality, all in the context of a lack lustre performance in economic growth” (Bhorat and Kanpur 2006: 1).

Policies to increase participation in the rural economy and diversify incomes are key to addressing rural poverty. Rural poverty in South Africa appears to differ from other countries in three ways:

  1. among the rural poor, income generated directly from agricultural activities and food consumed from own farm production are minor components of household resources (estimated at 10% to 20% of the total);
  2. many households continuously rotate between rural and urban base;
  3. and rural society is closely linked to the social and health problems of urban
    areas.

 The main potential to reduce rural poverty and inequity lies in the development of overall frameworks providing social security, education and training as well as health care, and in developing adequate infrastructures in rural areas. There is a need to examine how recent and ongoing sectoral and economy-wide policies contribute to poverty reduction by integrating poor population in broader economic activities.
OECD 2006: 25

Redistributionof assets and other forms of wealth – has been a prominent feature of the economic and political debate in South Africa both before and after 1994, captured in the competing slogans of ‘growth through redistribution’ and ‘redistribution through growth’. Redistribution was at the heart of the 1955 Freedom Charter, described by Seekings and Nattrass (2005) as the closest the ANC had to an economic policy prior to 1990, and the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), which was effectively the manifesto on which the ANC came to power in 1994 (ANC 1994).

Debates about the relationship between redistribution and growth, and the means by which redistribution should be brought about, have not abated, despite the ANC’s decisive turn in favour of growth (now seen as a precondition for redistribution) from around 1996 (Marais 1998). Nonetheless, important forms of redistribution have occurred. Notable amongst these are significant increase in government spending on infrastructure, welfare and social services aimed at the poorest sections of the population, significant increases in earnings for those in formal employment, and opening up of opportunities for share-holding and business opportunities in the corporate world for previously disadvantaged people through the BEE programme. While this has led to a substantial de- racialisation of the upper and middle socio-economic classes, it has had remarkably little impact on overall income inequality or poverty.

Redistribution of assets – notably land – has a special place within the discourse on redistribution, both in South Africa and internationally. Land redistribution (including the associated processes of restitution and tenure reform) has been an important component of policy since 1994 and features prominently in the 1996 Constitution. Yet, an explicit link between land reform and poverty is difficult to find in official policy pronouncements, especially since the change from the Mandela to the Mbeki presidency in 1999.

The arguments for land reform in South Africa have been dominated since the outset by a discourse of restorative justice which seeks to return land to its previous owners and redress racial imbalance in landholding, with relatively little attention to the economic dimensions of land use, in general, and the links between land reform and poverty alleviation (or economic growth) in particular.

It is important to consider the theoretical arguments for land reform and the ways in which redistribution is linked to poverty alleviation, both in South Africa and internationally.

 

 

Source:Bhorat, H. and Kanbur, R. 2006. ‘Poverty and well-being in post-apartheid South Africa’, in Haroon, and Kanbur, R. (eds), Poverty and Policy in Post Apartheid South Africa. Cape Town,: HSRC Press.2.Seekings, J. and Nattrass, N. 2005. Class, Race, And Inequality In South Africa. Yale University Press.3.Marais, H. 1998. Limits to Change: The Political Economy of Transformation. London and New York: Zed Press.4.http://r4d.dfid.gov.uk/PDF/Outputs/ESRC_DFID/60332_Lahiff_Redistributive.

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

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

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.

Politics in South Africa today is devoid of political content.

democracyDriving from the international airport, I was struck by the sheer wretchedness of Cape Flats: the series of black townships, comprising mostly shacks with corrugated steel roofs, that stretch from the highway almost to the horizon. Few people — tourists or locals — want to talk about the Cape Flats. But there is no better starting point for a discussion of the state of contemporary South Africa.

I was shocked by the degree to which the predominant emotions, 21 years after the end of apartheid, are not of hope and expectation, but of fear and despair.

“It’s not rosy,” a leader of the United Front opposition political movement in the eastern Cape city of East London told me, “but it’s not yet totally bleak.” That was about the most optimistic view I heard.

For much of the black population, fear and despair arise out of the sense that while South Africa became a democratic nation after apartheid, in many ways very little has changed.

Khayelitsha, the largest township in the Cape Flats, was established in 1983 by the apartheid government to house about 200,000 black workers. According to the 2011 census, almost double that number now live there. More than half live in “informal housing” — shacks, in other words.

IMG_1707Almost four in 10 people are unemployed. Barely one-third have piped water in their dwellings; a quarter have no flush toilets; about one in five has no access to electricity. Many of these figures are worse than they were under apartheid; others are little changed.

Apartheid had an immensely dehumanizing impact. But it also caused communities to forge powerful social bonds and channel anger into resistance and liberation movements.

The destructive effect of contemporary policies has led not to the creation of stronger bonds, but to the unraveling of the fabric of society. The social anthropologist Leslie J. Bank describes it as a form of “fractured urbanism,” in which traditional social organizations have collapsed and forms of social control have dissolved, creating a political and social vacuum.

Unlike under apartheid, there is no obvious target for people’s rage. There are protests, almost daily, against housing conditions, police brutality and political corruption. There is considerable anger against the ruling African National Congress, in both national and local governments. Yet the relationship of people, even of critics, to the A.N.C. is complex. It remains, for most, the party that brought about liberation, and so retains considerable moral legitimacy.

The confusion about whom to blame for conditions that seem little improved from the days of apartheid has often led people to turn on one other. The explosion of xenophobic violence, directed against migrant workers from other African nations, that swept through South Africa in 2008, and again this year, is one expression of this. So is the growing conflict between apartheid-defined categories of people, like “blacks” and “coloreds.”

New conflicts have also emerged, like the one between longtime residents of Cape Town’s townships (who call themselves “borners” — people born in the townships) and immigrants from elsewhere in South Africa. Such divisions have been exacerbated, even exploited, by sections of the A.N.C. As the failure to transform the lives of the poor has eroded support for the party, many A.N.C. politicians have turned to the politics of ethnicity and identity to strengthen their base.

It is a development that has long been evident, but that has really gathered strength under the leadership of South Africa’s current president, Jacob G. Zuma. Mr. Zuma has unashamedly exploited his Zulu identity — “100% Zulu Boy” read the slogan on supporters’ T-shirts before the 2009 general election. And to shore up his support, he has promoted supposedly traditional African values, enhancing, for example, the powers of unelected tribal chiefs.

Last year, his government attempted to pass the Traditional Courts Bill that would have created a separate legal system for millions of people living in the former Bantustans, allowing local chiefs to act as judges, prosecutors and mediators, with no legal representation and no right of appeal.

“Let us solve African problems the African way, not the white man’s way,” Mr. Zuma proclaimed in defense of the law.

“It’s shocking how the language of apartheid now comes out of black mouths,” one former activist said to me.

The situation has been made worse by the issue that dominates South African politics today: corruption. Almost daily, there is a new scandal. Accusations reach up to the highest state office — Mr. Zuma himself has been embroiled in a long-running scandal — and threaten to besmirch the integrity of institutions like the National Prosecuting Authority.

Corruption expresses the way that state patronage has come to define politics. Politics in South Africa today “is devoid of political content,” in the words of a former A.N.C. activist, Raymond Suttner. Instead, “it relates to who is rising or falling, as part of ongoing efforts to secure positions of power and authority.” Using corrupt resources to win favours from different social groups and factions has helped entrench a dangerous cronyism in national politics.

While sections of the political elite have tried to manipulate the politics of ethnicity to bypass democracy, many at the grass-roots level have opposed these moves. Popular opposition killed the Traditional Courts Bill. Last month, a community in the Eastern Cape won a court battle to elect its own leaders, rather than have them imposed. It cannot be right, the court agreed, that the people of the Transkei region “enjoyed greater democratic rights” under apartheid “than they do under a democratically elected government.”

It is a telling comment on the state of contemporary South Africa that the government can be chastised for being less democratic than it was under apartheid. If the future of South Africa is not to be totally bleak, it is in such struggles for democracy against the corrupt elite that hope must lie.

Written by Kenan Malik, he is the author, most recently, of “The Quest for a Moral Compass: A Global History of Ethics” and a contributing opinion writer.

Jurassic Politicians should be put in the Apartheid Museum!

…many of the “Jurassic Politicians” are yet fighting against injustice and awaiting retribution even twenty years gone by, they seem to have been short-changed to the towering giants of the ruling “fat cats”. As they watch in envy, their comrades sitting on the gravy train whilst they watch and applaud shouting, “Amandla Iwetto” on the side-lines.

Many of the younger generation such as myself are witnessing the extinction of a breed of Politicians to which I will now refer to as the “Jurassic Politicians”. Bless them – they had suffered, been imprisoned and deduced to scorn under the Apartheid regime to which many of them could not all fit into parliament.sa

Now sadly many of them are yet fighting against injustice and awaiting retribution even twenty years gone by, they seem to have been short-changed to the towering giants of the ruling “fat cats”. As they watch in envy, their comrades sitting on the gravy train whilst they watch and applaud shouting, “Amandla Iwetto” on the side-lines.

It is a sad occurrence as many who believe that the reason for their “still” impoverished state is due to their white counterpart, or if not “whites” – just anyone who is better off than themselves. So envy and jealousy are now “clouded” with terms such as justice, level playing field and equality.

My generation who is open-minded and have been prepared to embrace a multi-cultural and diverse world sees no colour. We see education as the key to being anything you want to be and do, as opportunities are ample.

However, the Jurassic Politicians attempt to clip away the wings of this generation and therefore results in merit and accolades are not the determining factors of success but corruption and colour of one’s skin, as they themselves lack substance.

Many of the Jurassic Politicians have not finished school, or have kept a proper job yet they have been entrusted with vast amounts of public funds and responsibilities beyond their experiences or skills. I am of the younger generation and I am sure there are many with similar views who say:

  1. We don’t want further divisions against skin colour despite what you may call it BEE or “WEE” it’s not what we want!
  2. We want peace and stability of the economy and welfare. We don’t care about the offences of the past as they are forgiven.
  3. We don’t want to take revenge on crimes committed from a previous era for their descendants to pay now. This is cruel and evil.
  4. We want these “Jurassic Politicians” to grow up and wake up as times have changed!

South Africa is going back to its Apartheid Days

In this blog I would like to express my sincerely disgust to the comments of Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi, the President of Progressive Professionals Forum. He recently commented that Affirmative Action policies should be revised to exclude White women, Indian men and women, as they are already empowered. He says both coloured and black women need to be prioritised… Prioritised?

In this blog I would like to express my sincere disgust to the comments of Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi, the President of Progressive Professionals Forum. He recently commented that Affirmative Action policies should be revised to exclude White women, Indian men and women, as they are already empowered. He says both coloured and black women need to be prioritised… Prioritised?

grow up
Jimmy, is further dividing our country!

Firstly, he speaks as if he speaks for the entire South African continent. This Jimmy has no clue as to what my generation thinks of such Jurassic mentality. My generation are intermarrying and engaging in integration with other cultures which are clearly not represented with our racist government.

They are so preoccupied with the colour of skin that they miss truly representing the people. Jimmy says government should be stricter in enforcing the Economic Empowerment codes. He is calling for un-designation of White women and Indians as a whole, to say ‘let them be out of the definition so that the focus can be on the Africans and the Coloureds’.

People like Jimmy need a reality check as he fails to realize that placing people in positions of authority requires merit and not race. Invest in the Education sector by providing “black” children better advantages should be some of the discussions.

People with narrow mindedness, bigoted and racists speech should be punished and discipline should be implemented. Jimmy, who is the President of Progressive Professionals Forum – and clearly he got his job for being black because he shows no professionalism nor respect for those who call themselves, “South African” and not as Jimmy indicates, “blacks, whites, coloureds, and Indians”.

Jimmy needs educating and should be reprimanded for coming out public with stupid ideologies!

Do white people have a future in South Africa?

All these disadvantages are looked upon as retribution, a sort of “karma”, and the punishment for previously abusing the natives. Therefore the common response or sentiment is, “the whites did this to the natives and now it’s the their turn”.

white

Warning: this article includes graphic images some readers may find disturbing

There is a place in Pretoria called Sunshine Corner, where you will witness first hand of a sympathetic white farmer allowing the homeless to find a home on his land. However the picturesque is all too familiar with poverty – Shacks (informal settlements), dirty stagnant water, rubbish, old furniture and broken down cars. There are more than 100 white squatter camps in South Africa – that number is growing as the weakest and most vulnerable have no choice but to live with no water or electricity. These inhabitants live on two hand-out meals of maize porridge a day. It is estimated that more than 500,000, poor white live in such conditions.SA

There is no social security nor welfare, not mentioning the illiteracy and basic skills of the children growing on such estates, whom now face a handy capped future and as soon as they are of “working age”, many are forced to seek work to merely survive.

There is the other issue of being murdered for those living far higher up the social scale and their possessions are plundered. The newspapers almost on a weekly basis mentions of white farmers being murdered. Approximately more than 6,000 have died since the democracy. Therefore many of the white farmers are fleeing for their safety, which has caused a void in the agricultural production.

All these disadvantages are looked upon as retribution, a sort of “karma”, and the punishment for previously abusing the natives. Therefore the common response or sentiment is, “the whites did this to the natives and now it’s the their turn”. The sanctity and respect for life is avoided lest people should realise thIMG_1707at despite being white or black, people suffer whilst the partisans of ideologies watch from ivory towers. Ubantu sees no colour and therefore as long as South Africa remembers that we are a unique diverse country of beautiful cultures then only I believe that the whites have a future!

Would you agree that our President Zuma is an “angel” compared to Julius Malema?

These are crucial times for South Africa despite President Zuma’s corruption cases. Mr Zuma has done his best in developing trade and industries in South Africa whereas Julius Malema may be too inclined with black supremacy to seek the overall economic benefit of South Africa!

Boundaries move slowly but gradually just enough so that society does not realise the ground that they were standing on has moved. The political landscape of South Africa is changing and it’s changing using humour. Many of South Africans don’t mind bad news so long as it comes with humour, as being very much optimistic we South Africans would not admit to the glass being half-empty.
jz
It is with that as a premise to which I would like to mention the person who is keeping our President Zuma up at night that he actually had to build a state of the art bunker at his popular homestead.

We must recognise and be alert that Julius Malema is no Mandela or Zuma! In fact he is an inexperienced, uneducated politician with radical ideology to that synonymous of Robert Mugabe.

jmI strongly believe that the mainstream media will regret providing Malema all the free publicity to fuel his campaigns. May the same media not forget that he was the one verbally abused the British reporter years back, once in power he will remove all freedom of expression. Thus labelling anything opposing to his thinking as “racist”.

These are crucial times for South Africa despite President Zuma’s corruption cases. Mr Zuma has done his best in developing trade and industries in South Africa whereas Julius Malema may be too inclined with black supremacy to seek the overall economic benefit of South Africa!

Worth Knowing that the Government is not above the Law!

The real importance of the rule of law today lies in the basic idea underlying all three points (but especially the first) that the state should use its power according to agreed rules, and not arbitrarily.

The three elements for the Rule of Law.

  • First, that there should be no sanction without breach, meaning that nobody should be punished by the state unless they had broken a law.
  • Secondly, that one law should govern everyone, including both ordinary citizens and state officials.
  • Thirdly, that the rights of the individual were not secured by a written constitution, but by the decisions of judges in ordinary law.

The real importance of the rule of law today lies in the basic idea underlying all three points (but especially the first) that the state should use its power according to agreed rules, and not arbitrarily.