Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Economics and inequality - interesting analysis on SA

South Africa is hugely unequal. The inequality has recently been the subject of debate within South Africa, as summarised here in the NYT (although not really that sensationally), thanks to some Sushi, some rich people and some models.

This morning in Business Day, Moeletsi Mbeki delivers a scathing but pretty solid analysis of what has gone wrong to get South Africa to the - frankly ridiculous - point 16 years after democracy where the country is STILL building wealth at the top, with some trickle to the middle, and attempting to buy off the bottom with welfare grants. Mbeki suggests that this could, possibly be maintained until 2020, depending on what happens in terms of China's resource demands, before the masses rise up, Tunisia-style. That may be an optimistic estimate. Service-delivery protests might intensify. The ANC's job-investment promises might change the situation of some of the poor. Whatever your take on what will happen in the next few years, Mbeki's analysis of the mistakes and missteps of the ANC government is interesting and probably particularly important given from whence it comes.

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