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A revolution is taking place in the great marketplaces of the informal sector and it contains an unquantified scale and power as an economic engine and a way of life for the majority of our low income populations. The KasiNomic Revolution may still be a murmur in the streets, a grassroots economic groundswell, but it is the future of African economic activity.
Kasi is the South African term for the township – a teeming conurbation of homes and businesses, entertainment venues and social meeting places. GG Alcock uses the term KasiNomics to describe the informal sectors of Africa, whether they are in the township, a rural marketplace, at a taxi rank or on a pavement in the shadow of skyscrapers. Brought up in a rural Zulu community, GG has learnt and shares the lessons of African culture, language, stick fighting, lifestyle and tribal politics, along with shared poverty and community, which have prepared him for accessing the great informal marketplaces of Africa. He is uniquely placed to uncover the extraordinary stories of kasi businesses which not only survive but excel, revealing a revolutionary entrepreneurship which is mostly invisible to the formal sector.
KasiNomic Revolution is a story of kasi entrepreneurs on one side and, on the other, of great corporate successes and failures in the informal community. KasiNomic Revolution is at once a business book, and at the same time a deeply human book about the people and lives of rural and urban informal societies.
KasiNomic Revolution is about the lessons of marketing, distribution, culture and modernity in an informal African world.
South Africa’s distorted distribution of wealth is one of the biggest challenges facing the country’s economy, with unemployment sitting at an unsustainable 27.7%. In terms of wealth, the top percentile households hold 70.9% while the bottom 60% holds a mere 7%. 76% of South Africans face an imminent threat of falling below the poverty line. With such statistics, the inequality crisis in this country is at a desperate level and strategies to remedy this challenge seem shallow and lack urgency.
In this context, the Institute for African Alternatives has brought together a series of papers written by eminent South African academics and policymakers to serve as a catalyst to finally confront and resolve inequality. With papers from former Public Prosecutor Thuli Madonsela, Ben Turok and former President Kgalema Motlanthe, this book provides a guide to how the nation can confront and resolve the inequality plaguing the country. The nation is headed to the polls later this year and books such as this are vital for providing a strong guide on how those in power can address South Africa’s biggest economic crisis.
A great contribution to the current political discourse, the book both confronts the issue and provides strategies on how to remedy inequality.
Vaya the film is based on the lives of four young men from the Homeless Writer’s Project: David Majoka, Anthony Mafela, Madoda Ntuli and Tshabalira Lebakeng, and rooted in their experiences of coming to Johannesburg. Vaya the book brings you the people and stories that inspired the award-winning film.
The book provides a rare lens into life on the margins of Johannesburg. The stories are intimate and hard hitting, funny and heartbreaking, full of courage and humanity in a world that is both capricious and unforgiving. Stories of living on the street, of finding family and friendship in unusual places, and coming to the city full of hope and promise only to be betrayed by the very people one trusts most.
Mark Lewis’s haunting photographs bring into sharp focus life in the underbelly of the city.
About 50km outside of Cape Town lies the beautiful town of Stellenbosch, nestled against vineyards and blue mountains that stretch to the sky. Here reside some of South Africa’s wealthiest individuals: all male, all Afrikaans – and all stinking rich. Johann Rupert, Jannie Mouton, Markus Jooste and Christo Weise, to name a few.
Julius Malema refers to them scathingly as ‘The Stellenbosch Mafia’, the very worst example of white monopoly capital. But who really are these mega-wealthy individuals, and what influence do they exert not only on Stellenbosch but more broadly on South African society?
Author Pieter du Toit begins by exploring the roots of Stellenbosch, one of the wealthiest towns in South Africa and arguably the cradle of Afrikanerdom. This is the birthplace of apartheid leaders, intellectuals, newspaper empires and more. He then closely examines this ‘club’ of billionaires. Who are they and, crucially, how are they connected? What network of boardroom membership, alliances and family connections exist? Who are the ‘old guard’ and who are the ‘inkommers’, and what about the youngsters desperate to make their mark? He looks at the collapse of Steinhoff: what went wrong, and whether there are other companies at risk of a similar fate. He examines the control these men have over cultural life, including pulling the strings in South Africa rugby.
This book provides an overdue critical re-engagement with the analytical approach exemplified by the work of Harold Wolpe, who was a key theorist within the liberation movement. It probes the following broad questions: how do we understand the trajectory of the post-apartheid period, how did the current situation come about
in the transformation, how does the current situation relate to how a post-apartheid society was conceived in anticipation, and what are the implications of what have been failed ambitions for progressives?
Alfred Qabula was a central figure in the cultural movement that emerged among working people in and around Durban in the 1980s. The movement was an innovative attempt to draw on the oral poetry developed among the Nguni people over many centuries. Qabula was a forklift driver in the Dunlop tyre factory in Durban at the time this book was developed. He used the art of telling stories to critique the exploitation of black workers and their oppression under apartheid.
A Working Life, Cruel Beyond Belief is the first book in the Hidden Voices series and is Qabula’s testament, telling the powerful story of his life and work. It also contains a generous selection of his poetry. The Hidden Voices Project emerged out of an interest in intellectual left contributions towards discussions on race, class, ethnicity and nationalism in South Africa. Specifically, the project seeks to examine and make available writings on left thought under apartheid. The aim is to look at hidden voices – voices outside of the university system or academic voices suppressed by apartheid pressures. Before and during the apartheid years, many universities were closed to existing local ideas and debates, and critical intellectual debates, ideas, texts, poetry and songs often originated outside academia during the period of the struggle for liberation.
Jonathan Jansen is die voormalige Rektor van die Universiteit van die Vrystaat, met 'n formidabele reputasie vir transformasie en 'n diepgewortelde verbintenis tot versoening in gemeenskappe wat met die erfenis van apartheid saamleef. In hierdie boek, Jansen se persoonlikste en mees intieme boek tot op hede, daag Suid-Afrika se geliefde professor die stereotipes en stigma uit wat so maklik op Kaapse Vlakte-ma's van toepassing gemaak word as luidrugtig, wellustig en sonder tande – en bied hy dié deernisvolle verhaal aan as 'n lofsang vir ma's oral wat op moeilike plekke gesinne moet grootmaak en gemeenskappe moet bou.
As jong man het Jansen gewonder hoe ma's dit regkry om kinders onder moeilike omstandighede groot te maak – en toe besef die antwoord is reg voor hom in die vorm van Sarah Jansen, sy eie ma. Deur haar vroeë lewe in Montagu en die gevolge van apartheid se gedwonge verskuiwings na te speur, werp Jansen lig op hoe sterk vroue nie slegs daarin geslaag het om gesinne bymekaar te hou nie, maar hulle kinders ook met integriteit groot te maak.
Met sy kenmerkende fynsinnigheid, humor en eerlikheid, volg Jansen sy ma se lewensverhaal as 'n jong verpleegster en ma van vyf kinders, en wys hy hoe dié ma's hulle verlede verwerk het, hulle huise ingerig het, sin gemaak het van die politiek, die liefde bestuur en kernwaardes gekommunikeer het – hoe hulle hulle lewens gelei het. Om sy eie herinneringe te balanseer, het Jansen hom op sy suster, Naomi, beroep om haar eie insigte en herinneringe te deel, en daardeur spesiale waarde tot hierdie roerende memoir toe te voeg.
Jonathan Jansen is the former Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State, with a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. In this, Jansen’s most personal and intimate book to date, South Africa’s beloved professor contemplates the stereotypes and stigma so readily applied to Cape Flats mothers as bawdy, lusty and gap-toothed – and offers this endearing antidote as a praise song to mothers everywhere who raise families and build communities in difficult places.
As a young man, Jansen questioned how mothers managed to raise children in trying circumstances – and then realised that the answer was right in front of him in the form of Sarah Jansen, his own mother. Tracing her early life in Montagu and the consequences of apartheid’s forced removals, Jansen unpacks how strong women managed to not only keep families together, but raise them with integrity.
With his trademark delicacy, humour and frankness, Jansen follows his mother’s life story as a young nurse and mother to five children, and shows how mothers dealt with their pasts, organised their homes, made sense of politics, managed affection, communicated core values – how they led their lives. As a balance to his own recollections, Jansen has called on his sister, Naomi, to offer her own insights and memories, adding special value to this touching personal memoir.
The City of Cape Town is a place of contrasts, the legacy of apartheid having left a distinct make-up. Yet the challenges confronting the contemporary city are notably aggravated by modern-day factors such as increasing unemployment and poverty.
In this timely work, Mayor of Cape Town Patricia de Lille and Craig Kesson, the city’s Director of Policy and Strategy, confront some of the issues of governance: how can the city help overcome social and physical segregation; how can the government live up to the promises made to South Africans; and how can the city function and heal within these limitations?
"I’ve seen firsthand the progress Cape Town has made under Mayor De Lille. Successes in one city often spreads to others, and this book provides a valuable guide for how, with a bit of motivated and dynamic leadership, cities can lead the way on the most important issues of our day.” Michael Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P. and former mayor of New York City
Despite the fact that the ‘rise of the black middle class’ is one of the most visible aspects of post-apartheid society and a major actor in the reshaping of South African society, analysis of it has been lacking. Rather, the image presented by the media has been of ‘black diamonds’, that is, above all, as consumers of the products of advanced industrial society, and of corrupt ‘tenderpreneurs’ who use their political connections to obtain contracts which they would otherwise be denied. At the same time, the restrictions upon black professional and entrepreneurial activity in the apartheid era stunted the development of black capitalism and the black middle class, while the growth of a substantial black working class which became the class vanguard of the political liberation of South Africa, pushed the role of the middle class into the shadows.
This book presents a new way of looking at the Black middle class which seeks to complicate that picture, an analysis that reveals its impactful role in the recent history of South Africa. It provides a careful account of its historical development in colonial society prior to 1994 before examining the size, shape and structure of the middle class in contemporary South Africa, class formation under the ANC, education and black upward social mobility, the black middle class at work, the social life of the black middle class, and its political role in the shaping of a democratic society in the post-apartheid era. The trajectory of the black middle class in South Africa is related to that of its counterparts in the global south.
While the book offers the most comprehensive account of the black middle class since Leo Kuper wrote on the subject in the early 1960s, it also seeks to make a major contribution to the burgeoning debate about the middle class globally.
A book that taps into the current debate around resource rentals in South Africa, and outlines practical steps that can be taken to a different tax regime.
Land rent can provide jobs for all if we just collect it instead of taxing those who create wealth or seek merely to survive. This rent, or the locational advantage of each piece of land, is owed to the community, whose grant of security of tenure enables the owner to enjoy its man-made and natural advantages. Rent has been a phenomenon since the time of the Physiocrats and Adam Smith, but its potential has been ignored and the world has got lost in an economic jungle of its own making.
This book is based on a very simple proposal: replace most taxation with collection of land and other natural resource rentals. It shows the way to the broad uplands of prosperity for all, and explains why it is time for us to talk about rent! It taps into the current debate in the media and economic and political circles around resource rentals in South Africa, and outlines practical steps that can be taken to a different tax regime. This book is highly relevant and topical, and offers much to stimulate further debate whilst offering something positive and workable.
The rhetoric of `freedom and democracy for all' has become almost synonymous with the US. However, at home its business elites have enslaved the poor and underclasses and further afield, while masquerading as a force for good in the world, it has enslaved much of humanity in the name of progress. In this controversial book, investigative journalist Matt Kennard takes us deep into the dark heart of American power. From the corporate state, the prison state and the state of the environment, to humanitarian intervention, the free trade fetish and the divide-and-rule of the working class, The Racket reveals how, no matter which side of the border we are on, we are all being conditioned to condone this modern form of slavery.
Working-class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged and dispossessed. Common People is a collection of essays, poems and memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth and texture of working-class life, the joy and sorrow, the solidarity and the differences, the everyday wisdom and poetry of the woman at the bus stop, the waiter, the hairdresser. Here, Kit de Waal brings together thirty-three established and emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes, their voices loud and clear as they reclaim and redefine what it means to be working class. Features original pieces from Damian Barr, Malorie Blackman, Lisa Blower, Jill Dawson, Louise Doughty, Stuart Maconie, Chris McCrudden, Lisa McInerney, Paul McVeigh, Daljit Nagra, Dave O'Brien, Cathy Rentzenbrink, Anita Sethi, Tony Walsh, Alex Wheatle and more.
It is easy to see bicycles as commonplace machines, but at the end of the nineteenth-century there was no other piece of technology which attracted the same level of excitement, discussion or controversy. Significant societal shifts followed the invention of the modern bicycle and with cycling's ever-increasing popularity there has never been a better time to tell this story. Revolution delves into the social history of cycling in 1890s Britain while exploring international parallels that existed in countries such as the US, France and Australia. Drawing on a range of sources from cycling club journals to the writings of H.G. Wells, the book illuminates the major impact the bicycle had on the day-to-day lives of people across the social spectrum with millions experiencing a cheap and personalised means of transport for the first time. Particularly for women it was known as the great emancipator from crib, kitchen and convention. Affordable to the working class, cycling dramatically increased the number of potential marriage partners, bridging the gaps between villages, to the extent that leading biologist Steve Jones has ranked the invention of the bicycle as the most important event in recent human evolution. From cycling as a source of fashion and socialising in sporting clubs, to travel around the British countryside, to its importance for widening the gene pool and its role in the women's liberation movement Revolution presents the bicycle as a marvel of modern technology that transformed Britain and the world over.
Since the great recession hit in 2008, the 1% has only grown richer while the rest find life increasingly tough. The gap between the haves and the have-nots has turned into a chasm. While the rich have found new ways of protecting their wealth, everyone else has suffered the penalties of austerity. But inequality is more than just economics. Being born outside the 1% has a dramatic impact on a person's potential: reducing life expectancy, limiting education and work prospects, and even affecting mental health. What is to be done? In Inequality and the 1% leading social thinker Danny Dorling lays bare the extent and true cost of the division in our society and asks what have the superrich ever done for us. He shows that inquality is the greatest threat we face and why we must urgently redress the balance.
We are looking at the first generation in living memory who can expect to be poorer than their parents, even as the economy continues to grow. This is unprecedented. No generation in modern history has been poorer than its parents. And they could be quite a lot poorer. If we continue as we are going, the civilisation we enjoy today will not last until 2050. The early signs are already here. In 2017, we read that the economy was booming and stock markets were at an all-time high, yet at the same time we heard that wages were not keeping pace with inflation and food-banks had more 'customers' than ever before. If the economy is doing so well, how can most people not be doing well? If the pie is growing, why aren't we all getting bigger slices? If we are so well-off, why is our children's generation set to be the first in living memory to be worse-off than its predecessors? This is what we can do to change this state of affairs.
Even in the midst of runaway economic inequality and dangerous social division, it remains an axiom of modern life that meritocracy reigns supreme and promises to open opportunity to all. The idea that reward should follow ability and effort is so entrenched in our psyche that, even as society divides itself at almost every turn, all sides can be heard repeating meritocratic notions. Meritocracy cuts to the heart of who we think we are. But what if, both up and down the social ladder, meritocracy is a sham? Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was conceived to resist: a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations. Upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle classes are now more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite. At the same time, meritocracy now ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, requiring rich adults to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return. All this is not the result of deviations or retreats from meritocracy but rather stems directly from meritocracy's successes. This is the radical argument that The Meritocracy Trap prosecutes with rare force, comprehensive research, and devastating persuasion. Daniel Markovits, a law professor trained in philosophy and economics, is better placed than most to puncture one of the dominant ideas of our age. Having spent his life at elite universities, he knows from the inside the corrosive system we are trapped within, as well as how we can take the first steps towards a world that might afford us both prosperity and dignity.
Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett's The Spirit Level, now published in more than twenty languages, has been one of the most influential non-fiction books published in the last decade, showing conclusively how less equal societies fare worse than more equal ones across a whole range of social measures - health, education, levels of violence, life expectancy and child wellbeing - and initiating the enormous public attention now given to the impacts of inequality. Based on an equally impressive range of data and analysis, The Inner Level now shows the impact inequality has on individuals: how it affects us psychologically, makes social relations more stressful, undermines self-confidence and distorts natural differences in personal abilities. It demonstrates that societies based on fundamental equalities, sharing and reciprocity produce much higher levels of wellbeing than those based on excessive individualism, competitiveness and social aggression. Like its predecessor, The Inner Level will transform ideas of how we should organise the way we live together.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE JHALAK PRIZE AND THE JAMES TAIT BLACK PRIZE 2019 'My book of the year. It's personal, historical, political, and it speaks to where we are now. This is the book I've been waiting for - for years' Benjamin Zephaniah 'Powerful ... The kind of disruptive, aggressive intellect that a new generation is closely watching' Afua Hirsch, Observer 'Part biography, part polemic, this powerful, wide-ranging study picks apart the British myth of meritocracy' David Olusoga, Guardian 'Inspiring' Madani Younis, Guardian 'Lucid, wide-ranging' John Kerrigan, TLS 'A potent combination of autobiography and political history which holds up a mirror to contemporary Britain' Independent A searing modern polemic and Sunday Times bestseller from the BAFTA and MOBO award-winning musician and political commentator, Akala. From the first time he was stopped and searched as a child, to the day he realised his mum was white, to his first encounters with racist teachers - race and class have shaped Akala's life and outlook. In this unique book he takes his own experiences and widens them out to look at the social, historical and political factors that have left us where we are today. Covering everything from the police, education and identity to politics, sexual objectification and the far right, Natives will speak directly to British denial and squeamishness when it comes to confronting issues of race and class that are at the heart of the legacy of Britain's racialised empire. 'Trenchant and highly persuasive' Metro 'A history lesson of the kind you should get in school but don't' Stylist
What does consumption in the global south signify, and how are its complexities communicated in media discourses? Consumption, Media and the Global South presents original research examining key themes in the ways in which consumption in the global south - by elites, the middle classes, and the poor - is discursively constructed in media texts. With the global triumph of capitalist economies and neoliberal values, consumption is increasingly viewed by populations in the global south as both a right to which they are denied access, and once accessed as evidence of an improved life. The ways in which this debate plays out on the stage of the media is an important element of the picture. This book looks at the media representation of consumer culture in Africa, China, Brazil and India through case studies ranging from celebrity selfies, to travel websites, news reports and documentary film.
Across Africa the narrative of "Africa rising" has taken root in a burgeoning middle class. Ambitious and increasingly affluent, this group symbolizes the values and hopes of the new Africa, and they are regarded as important agents of both economic development and democratic change. This narrative, however, obscures the complex and often ambiguous role that this group actually plays in African societies.
The Rise Of Africa's Middle Class brings together a diverse range of economists, political scientists, and development experts to provide a much needed corrective, overturning the received wisdom within development circles and providing a fresh new perspective on social transformations in contemporary Africa. Featuring a wide array of case studies from across sub-Saharan Africa and covering highly topical issues, including black middle-class support for the ANC in South Africa and anti-government activism in Nigeria, this collection of essays is a timely, on-the-ground look at the realities behind the idea of Africa rising.
A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER! Waterstones nonfiction Book of the Month (June)! A Time Magazine Top 10 Nonfiction Book of 2016! SOON TO BE A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE! `The political book of the year' - Sunday Times! `You will not read a more important book about America this year' Economist!
Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis - that of white working-class Americans. The decline of this group, a demographic of our country that has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, has been reported on with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.
The Vance family story begins hopefully in post-war America. J. D.'s grandparents were "dirt poor and in love," and moved north from Kentucky's Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually their grandchild (the author) would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that this is only the short, superficial version. Vance's grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother, struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, and were never able to fully escape the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. Vance piercingly shows how he himself still carries around the demons of their chaotic family history.
A deeply moving memoir with its share of humour and vividly colourful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.
Behind the scenes of the private world at the heart of royalty, as revealed by a distinguished royal commentator. This is the real story of what goes on inside the royal palaces, as witnessed by members of the royal staff and household past and present. Buckingham Palace is effectively an independent kingdom with its own rules and customs, now explained by Brian Hoey. Hundreds of anecdotes reveal the conditions in which the staff live and work and also their relationship with the Royals they serve. How does one get a job as personal footman to the Queen? Why does Prince Charles still have to send a note to her Page of the Backstairs requesting a meeting with his mother? How much do members of the household earn? Why does the Queen hate men in three-piece suits? Why are the Queen's bedsheets six inches longer than Prince Philip's? Why do her maids have to vacuum walking backwards? Why doesn't the Queen allow square ice-cubes to be put in her drinks?
This comprehensive and interdisciplinary Handbook illustrates the patterns of class transformation in China since 1949, situating them in their historical context. Presenting detailed case studies of social stratification and class formation in a wide range of settings, the expert international contributors provide invaluable insights into multiple aspects of China's economy, polity and society. The Handbook on Class and Social Stratification in China explores critical contemporary topics which are rarely put in perspective or schematized, therefore placing it at the forefront of progressive scholarship. These include; * state power as a determinant of life chances * women's social mobility in relation to marriage * the high school entrance exam as a class sorter * class stratification in relation to health * China's rural migrant workers and labour politics. Eminently readable, this systematic exploration of class and stratification will appeal to scholars and researchers with an interest in class formation, status attainment, social inequality, mobility, development, social policy and politics in China and Asia.
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