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South Africa Pushed to the Limit: The Political Economy of Change

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Since 1994, the democratic government in South Africa has worked hard at improving the lives of the black majority, yet half the population still lives in poverty, jobs are scarce, and the country is more unequal than ever. For millions, the color of a person's skin still decides their destiny. In its wide-ranging, in-depth and provocative analysis, South Africa Pushed to the Limit shows that although the legacies of apartheid and colonialism weigh heavy, many of the strategic choices made since 1994 have ...

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South Africa Pushed to the Limit: The Political Economy of Change

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Overview

Since 1994, the democratic government in South Africa has worked hard at improving the lives of the black majority, yet half the population still lives in poverty, jobs are scarce, and the country is more unequal than ever. For millions, the color of a person's skin still decides their destiny. In its wide-ranging, in-depth and provocative analysis, South Africa Pushed to the Limit shows that although the legacies of apartheid and colonialism weigh heavy, many of the strategic choices made since 1994 have compounded those handicaps. The economy remains dominated by a handful of large conglomerates that are now entwined in the circuitry of the global economy. The government, meanwhile, has squandered its leverage over their decisions in a series of miscalculations and errors. The social costs have been punishing.  Marais explains why those choices were made, where they went awry, and why South Africa's vaunted formations of the left failed to prevent or alter them.
Shedding light on a variety of South Africa's most pressing issues — from the real reasons behind President Jacob Zuma's rise and the purging of his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki to a devastating critique of the country's continuing AIDS crisis — South Africa Pushed to the Limit provides a unique, benchmark analysis of the long jourbaney beyond apartheid.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781848138599
  • Publisher: Zed Books
  • Publication date: 1/15/2011
  • Pages: 544
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Hein Marais is writer and jourbanalist and former deputy editor of Work in Progress magazine, South Africa, and former chief writer for the Joint UN Programme on AIDS.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements
• Foreword
• Introduction
• The making of a polarized society
• Saving the system
• Contours of the transition
• Sticking to the rules: The evolution of post-apartheid economic policy
• All dressed up: The economy in the 21st century
• The world of work
• Poverty and inequality in the post-apartheid years
• The social protection system
• AIDS & TB: 'Like waiting for a tidal wave to hit'
• False starts: The health and education systems
• A South African developmental state?
• Last man standing: The Mbeki-Zuma battle
• Power, consent and the ANC
• Left behind: Challenge and protest

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