GRID VIEW LIST VIEW

Confronting Exclusion: 2013 Transformation Audit

South Africa has made important political strides over the past two decades. It has created a framework of democratic legislative, executive and judicial institutions that mark a clear break from the apartheid past. In theory, they are inclusive and offer every citizen equal access to constitutionally protected rights. Their capacity to deliver, however, is coming under increasing pressure and, as this happens, citizen confidence in their efficacy is waning.

 

Much of the pressure, which ultimately may affect their legitimacy in the eyes of ordinary citizens, stems from the desperation and sense of economic exclusion experienced by those who find themselves at the wrong end of South Africa’s grossly unequal society. If this decline in trust persists, the cohesive effects of the country’s democratic institutions will diminish, and instability will become an increasingly common feature of political contestation.

 

An immediate, but only partial, remedy to the current state of affairs would be to prioritise transparency, accountability and leadership integrity within the system to restore trust in the bona fides of key institutions. The longer-term challenge will be to counter a growing sense of economic exclusion, where violent police action, rather than democratic process, is increasingly employed to stave off the manifestations of material anxiety experienced by struggling citizens.

 

This edition of the Transformation Audit, titled ‘Confronting Exclusion’, focuses on instances of such exclusion but, as in previous years, also prioritises the search for inclusive economic policy and future strategies to address them. By looking at each of the four chapter areas, it seeks to find answers to the challenge of a society in which the promise of true freedom and equal rights will remain only that until people feel equipped to be in charge of their own destiny and that of their children.

 

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Iraj Abedian holds a PhD from Simon Fraser University in Canada and is a non-executive director of Pan-African Capital Holdings (Pty) Ltd. He was an economic advisor for the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA) and a board member of the Development Bank of Southern Africa.
  • Louw Pienaar is a senior agricultural economist at the Western Cape Department of Agriculture, and is involved in multi-sector analysis and research on economic impacts on agriculture in South Africa. He holds an MSc in agricultural economics from the University of Stellenbosch, and has conducted research with the Bureau for Food and Agricultural Policy (BFAP) since 2010.
  • Nicholas Spaull is a PhD student at the University of Stellenbosch, where he lectures at the Department of Economics and forms part of the Research on Socio-Economic Policy (RESEP) team.
  • Dieter von Fintel is a PhD student at the University of Stellenbosch, where he lectures at the Department of Economics.
  • Derek Yu is a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of the Western Cape. He also forms part of the Development Policy Research
  • read more

    The Origins of War in Mozambique: A History of Unity and Division

    The independence of Mozambique in 1975 and its decolonisation process attracted worldwide attention as a successful example of “national unity”. Yet, the armed conflict that broke out between the government and the guerrilla force in 1977 lasted for sixteen years and resulted in over a million deaths and several million refugees, placing this concept of “national unity” into doubt.

    For nearly twenty years, Sayaka Funada-Classen interviewed people in rural communities in Mozambique. By examining their testimonies, historical documents, previous studies, international and regional politics, and the changes that various interventions under colonialism brought to the traditional social structure, this book demonstrates that the seeds of “division” had already been planted while the liberation movement was seeking “unity” in the struggle years.

    Presenting a comprehensive history of contemporary Mozambique, this book is indispensable for Mozambican scholars. It promises to serve as a landmark study not only for historians and the scholars of African studies but also for those who give serious consideration to the problems of conflict and peace in the world.

    Towards a People-Driven African Union: Current Obstacles and New Opportunities

    This report is the first independent, substantive and public assessment of the progress of the African Union. Towards a People-Driven African Union: Current Obstacles and New Opportunities analyses the preparations of African Union member-states, the AU Commission and civil society organisations for the twice-yearly AU summits. The main finding is that despite some welcome new opportunities for participation, the African Union's vision of 'an Africa driven by its own citizens' remains largely unfulfilled. Detailed recommendations are offered to help deliver on this vision in future. Published by AFRODAD, AfriMAP and Oxfam, this report is endorsed by more than a dozen other organisations in Africa and elsewhere, and is based on interviews with more than 50 representatives of member-states, the AU Commission and civil society organisations in eleven African countries.

    Citizenship Law in Africa: A Comparative Study

    Few African countries provide for an explicit right to a nationality. Laws and practices governing citizenship effectively leave hundreds of thousands of people in Africa without a country. These stateless Africans can neither vote nor stand for office; they cannot enrol their children in school, travel freely, or own property; they cannot work for the government; they are exposed to human rights abuses.

    Statelessness exacerbates and underlies tensions in many regions of the continent.

    Citizenship Law in Africa, a comparative study by two programs of the Open Society Foundations, describes the often arbitrary, discriminatory, and contradictory citizenship laws that exist from state to state and recommends ways that African countries can bring their citizenship laws in line with international rights norms.

    The report covers topics such as citizenship by descent, citizenship by naturalisation, gender discrimination in citizenship law, dual citizenship, and the right to identity documents and passports.

    It is essential reading for policymakers, attorneys, and activists.

    This second edition includes updates on developments in Kenya, Libya, Namibia, South Africa, Sudan and Zimbabwe, as well as minor corrections to the tables and other additions throughout.

    Vision or Vacuum? 2010 Transformation Audit

    The recession has reminded South Africans, once again, of the structural weaknesses in their economy, which render it highly vulnerable to temporal shocks. This certainly demands critical reflection on the current composition of the economy, its governance and longer-term capacity to create a more just and equitable society. The 2010 Transformation Audit’s theme – Vision or Vacuum? – sets out to pose critical questions in this regard. While acknowledging the constraints inherent in the prevailing global environment, this edition asks what the country can do to sustain its developmental achievements amidst crises.

    Recession and Recovery: 2009 Transformation Audit

    Recession and Recovery offers an assessment of the concrete impact that negative growth had in 2009 on the longerterm prospects for the creation of an equitable and just economic dispensation in South Africa. Successive editions of this publication have shown that the quest for economic transformation is a challenging one under the best of circumstances; the implications of a recession undoubtedly
    compound the magnitude of the task. Will South Africa sustain its transformational momentum in the economy in a context of shrinking government revenues, growing material insecurity and a substantial decline in employment levels? How will the new Zuma administration navigate its way through these troubled waters?