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Few countries in transition have managed to get a grip on public finances as well as SA after 1994. Now the nation’s credibility and democratic project lies in tatters as we teeter on the brink of a political and fiscal cliff.
Business confidence has evaporated, causing SA to be downgraded to junk status, crushing growth potential and pushing us towards a debt trap. How did we land in this mess, and can we pull back from the brink?
Award-winning journalist Claire Bisseker unpacks the crisis.
South Africans have been poorly served by the economic choices their governments have made.
The consequences of these choices are everywhere to be seen but most importantly in unemployment and poverty. In this book Brian Kantor advances spirited economic arguments for freer markets and less government intervention and regulation of the South African economy; the book will add significantly to a layman’s understanding of how our economy works. It offers a succinct review of all the key drivers that determine a modern economy’s performance as well as the key institutions of a modern economy.
The book presents an insightful review of the challenges facing the South African economy and its policy makers.
South Africa’s democracy is in trouble. The present situation is, in objective terms, a house divided; a house that is tottering on rotten foundations. Despite the more general advances that have been made under the ANC’s rule since 1994, power has not only remained in the hands of a small minority but has increasingly been exercised in service to capital. The ANC has become the key political vehicle – in party and state form as well as application – of corporate capital: domestic and international, black and white, local and national, and constitutive of a range of different fractions. As a result, ‘transformation’ has largely taken the form of acceptance of, combined with incorporation into, the capitalist ‘house’, now minus its formal apartheid frame.
What has happened in South Africa over the last 22 years is the corporatisation of liberation, the political and economic commodification of the ANC and societal development. Those in positions of leadership and power within the ANC have allowed themselves to be lured by the siren calls of power and money, to be sucked in by the prize of ‘capturing’ institutional sites of power, to be seduced by the egoism and lifestyles of the capitalist elite.
This book tells that ‘story’ by offering a critical, fact-based and actively informed holistic analysis of the ANC in power, as a means to: better explain and understand the ANC and its politics as well as South Africa’s post-1994 trajectory; contribute to renewed discussion and debate about power and democracy; and help identify possible sign-posts to reclaim revolutionary, universalist and humanist values as part of the individual and collective struggle for the systemic change South Africa’s democracy needs.
Systematically since 1994 the ANC government has betrayed the dream of democracy. A dream that imagined equality, the end of poverty, a thriving economy, and a just and prosperous future for all. Most devastatingly this betrayal can be seen in the failure of educational institutions to develop the talents and skills of the young generations. Given the ‘Fallist’ protests, given the public service delivery protests, given the voters’ message to the ANC in the municipal elections, ordinary people are suffering. Poverty still wears a black face. White racism becomes ever more strident.
The country needs to hope again.
In this searing critique of what’s gone wrong in the public and private sectors, Mamphela Ramphele turns to the tenets of black consciousness and argues for an ‘emotional settlement’ to heal the trauma of colonialism and apartheid that still ravages both black and white communities. Emotional settlement would unlock empathy for others and unleash the potential of all citizens to work together for a ‘socio-economic settlement’ to promote social justice and equality for all. ‘It is time,’ she says, ‘to reimagine the country and its future. We owe this to our children’s children. We dare not fail.’
Die Verhaal Van Lewe & Die Omgewing: 'n Afrika-Perspektief - Jo van As, Johann Du Preez, Leslie Brown, Nico Smit
Alles Oor Suid-Afrika - Rob Marsh
South African higher education students have for the years 2015 and 2016 stood up to demand not only a free education but a decolonised, African-focused education. The calls for decolonisation of knowledge are the ultimate call for freedom. Without the decolonisation of knowledge, Africans may feel their liberation is inchoate and their efforts to shed Western dominance all come to naught.
Over the years various African leaders including Steve Biko wrote about the need to decolonise knowledge. The call for decolonisation is largely being equated with the search for an African identity that looks critically at Western hegemony. Biko sought the black people to understand their origins; to understand black history and affirm black identity. These are all embedded in the struggle to decolonise and search for African values and identities.
The contributors in this book treat several but connected themes that define what Africa and the diaspora require for a society devoid of colonialism and ready for a renewed Africa. “The discussions we develop and the philosophies we adopt on Pan Africanism and decolonisation are due to a bigger vision and for many of us the destination is African renaissance”. Everyone has a role to play in realising African renaissance; government, churches, universities, schools, cultural organisations all have a role to play in this endeavour.
What will South Africa look like in 2030? And how will the next fifteen years unfold?
Since leading scenario planner Frans Cronje published his bestseller A Time Traveller’s Guide to Our Next Ten Years, the country has changed rapidly. Political tensions have increased, economic performance has weakened and more and more South Africans are taking their frustrations to the street. What does this mean for the country’s future?
Cronje presents the most likely scenarios for South Africa’s future.
Solidarity Road tells the story of Jan Theron’s involvement in the Food and Canning Workers Union (FCWU) during apartheid South Africa. Part memoir, part history this fascinating tale will reveal what working conditions were like in the 1970’s. It outlines the very beginnings of the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).
Theron states, ‘Solidarity in a trade union does not simply mean standing by your members, or by organised workers. It means solidarity with your class. At the time, in 1976, the working class was fragmented. Working for a trade union was part of a project to unite a fragmented class, and to give it a voice. This was the historical project to which a number of people from a certain intellectual background were drawn. This would be our contribution to the struggle: what we did to end apartheid. It was a struggle for democracy, but democracy did not just mean everyone getting to vote every so often in national elections. People also had to eat.
The most obvious way in which the working class was then fragmented was in terms of race. The Union put its commitment to solidarity into practice by uniting workers of different races in factories manufacturing food. To do so it had to overcome divisions among workers created by the ways in which government had structured employment, in terms of the law, which the bosses were able to exploit. Nowadays ‘bosses’ seems like a dated term, yet this is the term workers used to refer to the people for whom they actually worked. It is also no less important today than it was then to differentiate between those who control the factories and mines and those who operate at their behest.
Unless there is significant change, the world is heading for an explosion. The growing gap between rich and poor is dangerous and unsustainable. The plundering of resources is damaging our planet. Something has to be done.
In this book, Jay Naidoo harnesses his experience as a labour union organiser, government minister, social entrepreneur and global thought leader, and explores ways of solving some of the world’s biggest problems. Drawing from his experiences in South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil, Bangladesh and other countries, he presents a variety of options for ending poverty and global warming, with a focus on organising in our communities and building change from below and beyond borders.
Naidoo’s message is unequivocal: significant action must be taken immediately if we want future generations to live in a world that we take for granted today.
Sub-Saharan Africa faces three big challenges over the next generation. It will double its population to two billion by 2045. By then more than half of Africans will be living in cities. And this group of mostly young people will be connected through mobile devices.
Properly harnessed and planned for, these are positive forces for change. Without economic growth and jobs, they could prove a political and social catastrophe. Old systems of patronage and muddling through will no longer work.
Making Africa Work is a practical account of how to ensure growth beyond commodities, and to create jobs. It’s a handbook for dynamic leadership inside and outside the continent.
The story of a ‘rogue unit’ operating within the South African Revenue Service (SARS) became entrenched in the public mind following a succession of sensational reports published by the Sunday Times in 2014. The unit, the reports claimed, had carried out a series of illegal spook operations: they had spied on President Jacob Zuma, run a brothel, illegally bought spyware and entered into unlawful tax settlements.
In a plot of Machiavellian proportions, head of the elite crime-busting unit Johann van Loggerenberg and many of SARS’s top management were forced to resign. Van Loggerenberg’s select team of investigators, with their impeccable track record of busting high-level financial fraudsters and nailing tax criminals, lost not only their careers but also their reputations. Now, in this extraordinary account, they finally get to put the record straight and the rumours to rest: there was no ‘rogue unit’. The public had been deceived, seemingly by powers conspiring to capture SARS for their own ends.
Shooting down the allegations he has faced one by one, Van Loggerenberg tells the story of what really happened inside SARS, revealing details of some of the unit’s actual investigations.
The inspiration for this book was a Summer School on State, Governance and Development presented by distinguished academics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London. Written by young African scholars, the chapters here focus on state, governance and development in Africa as seen from the authors’ vantage points and positions in different sectors of society.
The book opens with three forewords by eminent African scholars including Ben Turok, Johan Burger and Mohamed Halfani. The chapters that follow examine rent-seeking, patronage, neopatrimonialism and bad governance. They engage with statehood, state-building and statecraft and challenge the mainstream opinions of donors, funders, development banks, international non-governmental organisations and development organisations. They include the role of China in Africa, Kenya’s changing demographics, state accountability in South Africa’s dominant party system, Somalia’s prospects for state-building, urban development and routine violence, and resource mobilisation.
At a time in which core institutions are being tested -- the market, the rule of law, democracy, civil society and representative democracy – this book offers a much-needed multi- and inter-disciplinary perspective, and a different narrative on what is unfolding, while also exposing dynamics that are often overlooked.
The first 1 000 days of running your own business are a little like raising a child: it needs to be nurtured, fed, mollycoddled and disciplined if it is to survive and grow. No-one knows this more than Jess Mouneimne, a young entrepreneur and marketing agency owner plus mom-of-two.
Having established and run three successful SMEs, Jess has faced adversity, failure, betrayal and personal demons. But she has managed to beat them all and lived to tell the tale. A keen boxer, Jess likens business to a bout in the ring. You need to know how to roll with the punches, avoid those left hooks and above all, have someone in your corner to advise and encourage you throughout the fight. If you have your own small or medium enterprise, or if you are thinking about starting a new venture of this kind, then you need to read this book.
In her own inimitable, humorous way, Jess offers practical advice on:
This is not just another generic business book. Through Jess’s personal experience and stories, you will learn about establishing and running an SME specifically in the South African market. Just like the wealth of this country, the content of the book is gold-dust – it’s worth sifting through to find the invaluable nuggets that will enable you to find personal wealth and professional success.
Being Boss will teach you how to be just that – the head of your own company without going insane or broke in the process.
Hoe gaan Suid-Afrika in 2030 lyk? En hoe gaan die volgende 15 jaar ontvou?
Sedert die bekende scenariobeplanner Frans Cronje se blitsverkoper, A Time Traveller’s Guide to Our Next Ten Years, het die land dramaties verander. Politieke spanning het verhoog, die ekonomie het in die hek geduik en al meer Suid-Afrikaners wend hulle uit frustrasie straat toe.
Wat beteken dit vir die land se toekoms? Gaan die vonk in die kruitvat vlamvat of gaan ’n reenboog sy onverwagse verskyning maak?
As Forbes magazine heads towards its centenary in 2017, this is a timely look at how the work of entrepreneurs can influence lives in Africa and create the jobs that empty state coffers can no longer afford. Written by the founder of Forbes Africa, this is a masterclass on how the brightest and most successful entrepreneurs across Africa made their billions.
Chris Bishop gets up close and personal with the biggest names in business on the continent: Aliko Dangote, Patrice Motsepe, Nicky Oppenheimer, Christo Wiese and Stephen Saad, among others. These are the stories of how they not only survived, but thrived, in the fast and furious world of African business: the penniless priest who became a steel baron; the barefoot apple-seller who turned into a mining millionaire; the ‘knocksman’ who went from running dice games and dealing drugs to running a city.
This is a rich tapestry of stories about the super-wealthy and the qualities that make them successful, in arguably the most challenging economic arena in the world.
If you have an interest in law and politics, South Africa’s political economy and the processes of policy-making in a parliamentary context, this is an essential read.
The advancement of black South Africans in ownership and management in the private sector is growing steadily. This growth is aided by government scorecard that penalise corporations that fail to include black people in senior positions and management. Some claim that this process will lead to a more fair, less racially biased economy. But will this transform the basic structure of the economy to benefit the people as a whole? Changing The Colour Of Capital unpacks the fundamental character of the South African economy and examines the relationship between the political system and the economy.
Contributors include Trevor Manuel, Rob Davies, Jeremy Cronin, Ben Turok, Philisiwe Buthelezi, Adekeye Adebajo, Enver Daniels, Cassius Lubisi and Richard Levin.
Being rich is not normal: most people never achieve wealth in their lifetime. The very word ‘rich’ describes a state beyond the median, and therein lies an important lesson.
To become rich, your thinking has to be radically different from that of the people around you. Do you know what those specific differences may be?
Business and wealth guru Douglas Kruger strips away the feel-good hype and gets right down to the practical principles. He leads you through the types of thinking that hold individuals, families and businesses in generational cycles of poverty. He explores the dramatically different approaches of the self-made rich and super-rich, showing you which behaviours to begin practising and which behaviours are traitorous to your wealth potential.
Escape poverty. Raise your value. Change the trajectory of your story.
It all begins with the way you think.
A Manifesto For Social Change is the third of a three-volume series that started seven years ago investigating the causes of our country’s – and the continent’s – development obstacles.
Architects of Poverty: Why African Capitalism Needs Changing (2009) set out to explain what role African elites played in creating and promoting their fellow Africans’ misery. Advocates for Change: How to Overcome Africa’s Challenges (2011) set out to show that there were short-term to medium-term solutions to many of Africa’s and South Africa’s problems, from agriculture to healthcare, if only the powers that be would take note. And now, more than 20 years after the advent of democracy, we have A Manifesto For Social Change: How To Save South Africa, the conclusion in the ‘trilogy’.
This book started its life as Gridlocked, but through the process of research undertaken by Moeletsi and Nobantu it has evolved into a different project, a manifesto that identifies some of South Africa’s key problems and what is required to change the country’s downward trajectory.
South Africa is undeniably a continental powerhouse.
Local corporates like MTN, Standard Bank and Shoprite are African business giants; South Africa is the only African member of BRICS; and a South African heads the African Union Commission. Yet the country is often perceived by other African states as a bully that punches above its weight. Does South Africa have the moral standing, and economic and military capacity to call itself a superpower?
In twenty years of reporting on Africa, Liesl Louw-Vaudran has travelled with South African heads of state and met business leaders from across Africa. In this book, she tries to answer accusations that South Africa behaves like a neocolonial power by examining key events – from Thabo Mbeki’s reforms of the African Union to the disastrous peace-keeping mission in the Central African Republic in 2013 under President Jacob Zuma.
Living in South Africa isn’t easy – with crime, unemployment, poverty, racism, state capture, unrest at our universities… Tempers flare. People take their anger to the streets. As a country we are at a crossroads and the future is uncertain. How do we make sense of what is happening around us, and how can we help build the society we would like?
Theuns Eloff’s fresh, fact-based analysis tells us how South Africa really works – and how we can all pitch in to make it better.
The publication of this title coincided with the gazetting of the final BEE Codes of Good Practice, eagerly awaited by business throughout the country, as they formed the basis of the BEE scorecard system. No organisation, whether private, public or non-governmental, will be exempt. Any business operating in South Africa will find it increasingly difficult to remain viable without adopting the principles of broad-based BEE and complying with the codes of good practice. The codes are complex and difficult to interpret - who better to guide the user than one of the people most intimately involved in developing the codes, namely Vuyo Jack.
Vuyo Jack is a member of the DTI-commissioned team tasked with developing the BEE codes of good practice. Also, as CEO of Empowerdex - the best known BEE rating agency in the country - he has witnessed and been involved with a multitude of BEE deals. His experience of their successes and failures has been incorporated into the title to assist readers with strategising and constructing the most appropriate empowerment deals for their specific situation. His involvement with the development of the BEE rating system and Codes of good practice gives the reader a privileged insight into the rationale behind the codes, the development of the codes, the objectives of the codes, and, most importantly, how to apply the codes in business.
This title provides a lucid account of what is arguably the most important business imperative imposed since the Companies Act, and is an essential companion to anyone operating in business, government or non-governmental organisations.
South Africa’s social landscape is disfigured by poverty, inequality and mass unemployment. Poverty in South Africa: Past and Present argues that it is impossible to think coherently or constructively about poverty, and the challenge it poses, without a clear understanding of its origins, its long-term development, and it’s changing character over time. This historical overview seeks to show how poverty in the past has shaped poverty in the present. Colin Bundy traces the lasting scars left on the face of South African poverty by colonial dispossession, coerced labour and segregation; and by a capitalist system distinctive for its reliance on cheap, right-less black labour. While the exclusion of the poor occurs in very many countries, in South Africa it has a distinctive extra dimension. Here, poverty has been profoundly racialised by law, by social practice, and by prejudice. He shows that the ‘solution’ to the ‘poor white question’ in the 1920s and ’30s had profound and lasting implications for black poverty. After an analysis of urban and rural poverty prior to 1948, he describes the impact of apartheid policies and social engineering on poverty. Over four decades, apartheid reshaped the geography and demography of poverty. This pocket history concludes with two chapters that assess the policies and thinking of the ANC government in its responses to poverty. One describes the remarkable story of the social security programme developed by the ANC in government since 1994, and finds that cash transfers – pensions and grants – have been the most effective mechanism of redistribution used by the ANC, even though the party remains edgy and anxious about a ‘culture of entitlement’. A final chapter reviews the distribution and dimensions of contemporary poverty, inequality and unemployment, and considers available policy options – and their shortcomings.
During the Zimbabwean crisis, millions crossed through the apartheidera border fence, searching for ways to make ends meet. Maxim Bolt explores the lives of Zimbabwean migrant labourers, of settled black farm workers and their dependants, and of white farmers and managers, as they intersect on the border between Zimbabwe and South Africa. Focusing on one farm, this book investigates the role of a hub of wage labour in a place of crisis. A close ethnographic study, it addresses the complex, shifting labour and life conditions in northern South Africa's agricultural borderlands. Underlying these challenges are the Zimbabwean political and economic crisis of the 2000s and the intensifi ed pressures on commercial agriculture in South Africa following market liberalization and post-apartheid land reform. But, amidst uncertainty, farmers and farm workers strive for stability. The farms on South Africa's margins are centers of gravity, islands of residential labour in a sea of informal arrangements.
Is South Africa going to make it? Are we going to become a shining example of a modern society, a proud member of the world's leading countries? Are we going to be OK? Are we already OK? Or are our worst fears going to become reality? That despite being geographically and culturally one of the most amazing countries in the world, we're going one way, straight down, all the way? Are we becoming a failed state?
That's the question South Africans ask themselves now and then. And that's the question J.P. Landman would like to answer in this book. He wants to answer the question simply but compellingly. He doesn't want his answer to be a thumb-suck or a knee-jerk reaction. Nor does he want to be an optimist or a pessimist. He wants to be a realist. As an economist, that's what he am. He lets the facts speak. He would like to give you long-term, good, solid facts. An informed view. He calls it the Long view.
He bases it on the stuff that transcends the daily drama we see on TV and in the newspapers. It's information that you can hold on to. Something that gives you a proper understanding of the realities of South Africa. Next time you're standing around a braai or sitting around a dinner table and some okie starts gaaning aan about the latest drama, you don't need to go into a tailspin yourself. Give him five facts. Then carry on making the most of your meal. And this country.
Africa is falling. Africa is succeeding. Africa is betraying its citizens. Africa is a place of starvation, corruption, disease. African economies are soaring faster than any on earth. Africa is squandering its bountiful resources. Africa is a roadmap for global development. Africa is turbulent. Africa is stabilising. Africa is doomed. Africa is the future.
All of these pronouncements prove equally true and false, as South African journalists Richard Poplak and Kevin Bloom discover on their 9-year roadtrip through the paradoxical continent they call home. From pillaged mines in Zimbabwe to the creation of an economic marketplace in Ethiopia; from Namibia’s middle class to the technological challenges facing Nollywood in the 21st Century; from China’s investment in Botswana to the rush for resources in the Congo; and from the birth of Africa’s newest country, South Sudan, to the worsening conflict in CAR, here are eight adventures on the trail of a new Africa.
Part detective story, part report from this economic frontier, Continental Shift follows the money as it flows through Chinese coffers to international conglomerates, to heads of state, to ordinary African citizens, all of whom are intent on defining a metamorphosing continent.
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