n Africa Insight - Violence, grants, poverty, inequality, unemployment and hope

Volume 44 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Relative to South Africa's level of development, the grant system is unique, offering lessons to the world, and scandalises the fundamentals of the development thought mosaic. Notwithstanding the impressive achievements recorded in poverty reduction, extraordinarily high levels of violent rebellion and strikes are encountered, unexpected after 20 years of democratic transition. This paper locates the drivers of this socio-political instability in poverty, inequality and unemployment: the consequence of elite decisions - the conjoined 1988-1996 class project - which strengthen the internal logics of the apartheid system and are reinforced by the bioeconomy of financialisation, state-engineered socio-economic exclusion, and the rule of the market (and property). Alternatives to existing policies, ideas and interventions exist, which the elite risks ignoring at its and society's peril.

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