Class, Race, and Inequality in South Africa by Professor Jeremy Seekings

By Professor Jeremy Seekings

The distribution of earning in South Africa in 2004, ten years after the transition to democracy, was once most likely extra unequal than it have been below apartheid. during this e-book, Jeremy Seekings and Nicoli Nattrass clarify why this can be so, providing an in depth and accomplished research of inequality in South Africa from the midtwentieth century to the early twenty-first century. They convey that the foundation of inequality shifted within the final many years of the 20 th century from race to category. Formal deracialization of public coverage didn't lessen the particular negative aspects skilled by means of the bad nor the benefits of the wealthy. the elemental continuity in styles of virtue and drawback resulted from underlying continuities in public coverage, or what Seekings and Nattrass name the “distributional regime.” The post-apartheid distributional regime keeps to divide South Africans into insiders and outsiders. The insiders, now more and more multiracial, take pleasure in solid entry to well-paid, expert jobs; the outsiders lack abilities and employment.

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A and discussion in Houghton , ). There were, however, almost no data about intraracial distribution, making it very difficult to measure overall inequality. Perhaps because there were so few data, social scientists seem to have avoided theorising about inequality in South Africa. The first attempt to examine the character of inequality in South Africa seems to have been Knight’s application in  of the Lewis dual economy model. ” The population could be divided into three groups: a profit-receiving capitalist group, a fully employed skilled white group paid high wages (in part owing to high productivity and in part comprising a monopoly rent derived from the inelastic supply of skilled labour that itself was due to racial discrimination), and an unskilled, underemployed black group paid low wages (because of the effectively unlimited supply of cheap labour).

When the Union of South Africa was established in , one of the new country’s four provinces (the Cape Province) retained its nominally and incompletely nonracial franchise; African and coloured men who satisfied property and literacy tests could vote in provincial and national elections. But in the rest of the country, only white men had a role in electing legislatures. ) In the s, African voters in the Cape were put onto a separate voters’ roll and thereafter were only permitted to elect white representatives to Parliament.

The Periodisation of Distributional Regimes in South Africa Uneven deracialisation of wage-setting institutions, resulting in partial inclusion of organised African workers in centralised bargaining system Massive expansion of schooling for black children, but quality of schooling remains low and expenditure discriminates by race Taxes mostly paid by the rich; redistribution to urban Africans and to the poor in general as pensions and education expand Less racially discriminatory; coverage extended; pension becomes a major instrument for redistribution Late Apartheid continued Taxes mostly paid by the rich; improved redistribution to the poor via expansion of services Removal of racial discrimination; extension of UIF and child grants; erosion of the real value of the pension Removal of racial discrimination in expenditure; expenditure becomes pro-poor; rise of class-based distinctions (private schools and so on) Complete deracialisation; strengthening of unions and centralised bargaining by Labour Relations Act and other legislation; extension of minimum wage-setting to unorganised sectors Post-Apartheid 38 Growth strategy Employmentsetting labourmarket policies Pre-Apartheid Early Apartheid Late Apartheid Post-Apartheid Job reservation in mines; Increase in job reservation in early Uneven deracialisation; Removal of last vestiges African peasantry period (but colour bar “floated attempt to coopt a stabilised of labour-market disundermined; “civilised up” from the mid-1960s); urban African labour force.

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