oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Equality in the global village

Volume 36, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



This article contemplates the realisation of substantive equality in the context of the globalisation of neo-liberal culture, which favours liberal concerns over egalitarian objectives, conceptualises both state and citizen in entrepreneurial terms and believes that social disparities fall to be redressed by the market and not by the state. The article shows that the South African government is in the somewhat precarious position of having to balance the above dictates of globalisation with the transformative vision espoused by the 1996 Constitution. After setting out the normative underpinnings of economic globalisation and identifying related international tensions, and having highlighted certain premises and structural consequences of economic globalisation which could lead to the further entrenchment of structures that create and reinforce inequality, the article investigates how the balance between economic imperatives and social transformation is currently being struck in the South African labour market. In conclusion, the author atempts to show that goals of international economic integration and social transformation need not be mutually exclusive by contemplating the reconceptualisation of the labour market in egalitarian terms.

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