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In September 2007, Ellen Pakkies, a working mother from Lavender Hill on the Cape Flats, strangled her son to death. The judge in the subsequent trial sentenced her to community service for her crime. What drove Ellen to commit this horrific deed, and why the ostensibly light sentence for such a heinous crime?
The story of what happened over ten years ago has continued to grip public interest, putting a spotlight on the dire and desperate situation faced by many parents of addicted children. A highly successful play was produced in theatres around South Africa in 2011/12, and a full-length movie has recently been made of this story, which will reach the big screen in September 2018.
When Dealing in Death was first published in 2009, the scourge of drug addiction was sweeping across South Africa, affecting every level of society. Little, if anything, has changed since then, as this new edition reveals. The use of tik, particularly in the Western Cape, has skyrocketed, and it was Abie Pakkies’s addiction to this drug, and the horrendous impact it had on his and his family’s lives, that drove Ellen to murder. Her trial exposed the dark underbelly of a community crippled by drug and alcohol abuse, and focused attention on the plight of those who live in poverty and do not have recourse to drug-rehabilitation centres and other measures effective in the treatment of addicts.
Dealing in Death looks at the global and local drugs culture, the predicament of Ellen Pakkies and other mothers like her, and an impoverished community and the apartheid laws that gave birth to it.
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.
In 1977, RW Johnson’s best-selling How Long Will South Africa Survive? provided a controversial and highly original analysis of the survival prospects of apartheid. Now, after more than twenty years of ANC rule, he believes the situation has become so critical that the question must be posed again.
‘The big question about ANC rule’, he writes, ‘is whether African nationalism would be able to cope with the challenges of running a modern industrial economy. Twenty years of ANC rule have shown conclusively that the party is hopelessly ill-equipped for this task. Indeed, everything suggests that South Africa under the ANC is fast slipping backward and that even the survival of South Africa as a unitary state cannot be taken for granted. The fundamental reason why the question of regime change has to be posed is that it is now clear that South Africa can either choose to have an ANC government or it can have a modern industrial economy. It cannot have both.’
Johnson’s analysis is strikingly original and cogently argued. He has for several decades now been the senior international commentator on South African affairs, known for his lucid analysis and complete lack of deference towards the conventional wisdom.
Although South Africa’s informal sector is small compared to other developing countries, it nevertheless provides livelihoods, employment and income for millions of workers and business owners. Almost half of informal-sector workers work in firms with employees. The annual entry of new enterprises is quite high, as is the number of informal enterprises that grow their employment. There is no shortage of entrepreneurship and desire to grow.
However, obstacles and constraints cause hardship and failure, pointing to the need for well-designed policies to enable and support the sector, rather than suppress it. The same goes for formalisation. Recognising the informal sector as an integral part of the economy, rather than ignoring it, is a crucial first step towards instituting a ‘smart’ policy approach.
The South African Informal Sector is strongly evidence- and data-driven, with substantial quantitative contributions combined with qualitative findings – suitable for an era of increased pressure for evidence-based policy-making – and utilises several disciplinary perspectives.
What is it like to be born dirt-poor in South Africa? Clinton Chauke knows, having been raised alongside his two sisters in a remote village bordering the Kruger National Park and a squatter camp outside Pretoria. Clinton is a young village boy when awareness dawns of how poor his family really is: there’s no theft in the village because there’s absolutely nothing to steal. But fire destroys the family hut, and they decide to move back to the city. There he is forced to confront the rough-and-tumble of urban life as a ‘bumpkin’.
He is Venda, whereas most of his classmates speak Zulu or Tswana and he has to face their ridicule while trying to pick up two or more languages as fast as possible. With great self-awareness, Clinton negotiates the pitfalls and lifelines of a young life: crime and drugs, football, religion, friendship, school, circumcision and, ultimately, becoming a man. Throughout it all, he displays determination as well as a self-deprecating humour that will keep you turning the pages till the end.
Clinton’s story is one that will give you hope that even in a sea of poverty there are those that refuse to give up and, ultimately, succeed.
The post-school education and training system in South Africa has been the focus of much attention since the establishment of the Department of Higher Education and Training in 2009. In the context of deepening inequality, poverty and unemployment, the need for a humanising, liberating and critical approach to learning and pedagogy in post-school education is becoming urgent. The rural and urban voices that speak in this book tell us that the current system is out of touch with the ways in which they are making a life.
Learning for Living challenges policy makers, researchers, educators and civil society organisations to think critically about the relationship between post-school education and the world of work, and about how to transform the post-school system to better serve the needs and interests of rural and urban communities. It issues a call to action, and proposes key principles to inform an alternative vision of post-school learning.
Have slums become 'cool'? More and more tourists from across the globe seem to think so as they discover favelas, ghettos, townships and barrios on leisurely visits. But while slum tourism often evokes moral outrage, critics rarely ask about what motivates this tourism, or what wider consequences and effects it initiates.
In this provocative book, Fabian Frenzel investigates the lure that slums exert on their better-off visitors, looking at the many ways in which this curious form of attraction ignites changes both in the slums themselves and on the world stage. Covering slums ranging from Rio de Janeiro to Bangkok, and multiple cities in South Africa, Kenya and India, Slumming It examines the roots and consequences of a growing phenomenon whose effects have ranged from gentrification and urban policy reform to the organization of international development and poverty alleviation.
Controversially, Frenzel argues that the rise of slum tourism has drawn attention to important global justice issues, and is far more complex than we initially acknowledged.
South Africa’s social landscape is disfigured by poverty, inequality and mass unemployment. Poverty in South Africa: Past and Present argues that it is impossible to think coherently or constructively about poverty, and the challenge it poses, without a clear understanding of its origins, its long-term development, and it’s changing character over time. This historical overview seeks to show how poverty in the past has shaped poverty in the present. Colin Bundy traces the lasting scars left on the face of South African poverty by colonial dispossession, coerced labour and segregation; and by a capitalist system distinctive for its reliance on cheap, right-less black labour. While the exclusion of the poor occurs in very many countries, in South Africa it has a distinctive extra dimension. Here, poverty has been profoundly racialised by law, by social practice, and by prejudice. He shows that the ‘solution’ to the ‘poor white question’ in the 1920s and ’30s had profound and lasting implications for black poverty. After an analysis of urban and rural poverty prior to 1948, he describes the impact of apartheid policies and social engineering on poverty. Over four decades, apartheid reshaped the geography and demography of poverty. This pocket history concludes with two chapters that assess the policies and thinking of the ANC government in its responses to poverty. One describes the remarkable story of the social security programme developed by the ANC in government since 1994, and finds that cash transfers – pensions and grants – have been the most effective mechanism of redistribution used by the ANC, even though the party remains edgy and anxious about a ‘culture of entitlement’. A final chapter reviews the distribution and dimensions of contemporary poverty, inequality and unemployment, and considers available policy options – and their shortcomings.
Community development both a collective effort and an achievement driven by individual facilitators with the aim of lifting a community out of poverty. The sixth edition of Community Development: Breaking the cycle of poverty continues to be a definitive guide for community development workers, students and practitioners alike. The book contextualises poverty and explains the process of community development.
It pays attention to the development environment and explains concepts such as asset-based community development and the social enterprise sector. In addition to context and process, the book details the skills required by a community development worker to function in the field. It also explains how to empower the development worker to train others in order to build capacity in the community and work towards breaking the cycle of poverty.
This edition of Community Development: Breaking the cycle of poverty is strengthened by the inclusion of extensive support material. More practical case studies, specifically relevant to the South African environment, have been added and questions on the case studies are included in the book.
Herman Mashaba is a self-made entrepreneur who started his business Black Like Me in the dark days of apartheid in South Africa. He has told the story of his journey from the poverty of Hammanskraal to the comfort of a successful business in his book Black Like You.
When Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s president in 1994, Mashaba thought his struggle for personal and economic freedom was over, the battle was won. Twenty-one years later, he has had to question that assumption as his hard won freedoms are eroded and economic controls tighten. Mashaba is committed to freeing South Africans from poverty.
In this book Mashaba outlines his crusade for economic freedom for all South Africans – through a firm commitment to capitalist principles. He describes the changes in his political affiliations and maps out the route South Africa needs to follow to escape entrenched unemployment and poverty.
Over 60 million children of primary-school age, mostly in Africa and Asia, are not in school. More then 250 million are in school but are not experiencing meaningful learning.
In South Africa, school is compulsory for children aged seven to 15, where they are expected to learn core skills – reading, writing and arithmetic – and improve their chances of future employment. But for some, schools are places of persistent failure, of humiliation, of boredom and lack of progress.
Finding Place and Keeping Pace: Exploring meaningful and equitable learning in South African schools is about getting access to and completing a full cycle of good-quality basic education. The contributors span a range of methodologies that include policy analysis, classroom observation and learner assessment, bringing together a rich set of studies that explore a pattern of exclusion from meaningful learning by South African schoolchildren. In particular, they look at schoolchildren who attend school regularly, but are not learning due to inadequate facilities, indifferent teachers and socio-economic factors. They are at risk of either dropping out or leaving school with limited resources.
Within the country, access to schooling remains uneven across and within provinces, and between different communities, with poverty, race and location being major factors. Physical access is just the first hurdle – once through the school gates it is expected that children will be provided with knowledge and values that will allow them to function in the economic and social life of the country. However, this is not the general case – children may be at school but without accessing education.
The authors identify several patterns of exclusion, including different forms of marginalisation, age-inappropriate enrolments, and the fact that school choice, voice and quality remain restricted. They also make policy recommendations, which include improving the quality of teachers and teaching, enhancing parental and community involvement, and clarifying the Language-in-Education policy.
Sivosethu Ndubela - fondly known as Vovo - is a young Xhosa girl who lives in New Brighton, near Port Elizabeth.
Apart from growing up with the challenges of poverty, crime and limited opportunities, Vovo was orphaned when she was 13. This led to Tony Pearce going from a friend of the family, involved in an after-school dramatic arts project, to become the guardian of Vovo and her older sister, Vuyolwethu.
A few years later Vovo was diagnosed with a rare heart condition. She subsequently underwent two life-threatening open-heart surgeries. Her recovery continues to surprise her family and healthcare specialists, and her bravery in fighting for her life is a true inspiration.
By sharing the harsh circumstances of township life and the factors that have shaped her journey, Vovo reveals her remarkable resilience and it becomes clear why she is a Miracle Girl.
At the northern entrance to Prince Albert in the Great Karoo lies Northend, a neighbourhood home to a special group of people. They have a very special way of communicating with others through their stories, which indicate an inherent joy of life. However, judging by their environment and circumstances, it is clear that they have experienced many hardship, and for an outsider it is an enriching experience to meet them.
Every picture in Slow Down Look Again tells a story and is supported by explanatory text. These enable the reader to gain insight into the past and the present of this unique neighbourhood and its residents.
The joy and sorrows of the residents of Northend - as well as their scant earthly possessions - are illustrated through Louis Botha?s excellent choice of photographic backgrounds. And yet the absolute neatness of their homes illustrates a certain pride - poverty without dilapidation. The intimacy of the photographs ultimately leaves the reader enriched. We become witnesses not only to the extraordinary character of a close-knit community, but also of its trusting relationship with the person whom they have allowed to tell their story. Louis Botha was born in Bloemfontein in 1955 and grew up on a small-holding north-east of Pretoria. After school he studied finance and followed a career in the Financial Services Industry. At the age of 40, and encouraged by his wife he pursued his hobby more seriously. He?s held several exhibitions and lives in Prince Albert.
Point Place stands near the city centre of Durban, South Africa. Condemned and off the grid, the five-storey apartment building is nonetheless home to a hundred-plus teenagers and young adults marginalised by poverty and chronic unemployment. Emily Margaretten draws on ten years of up-close fieldwork to explore the distinct cultural universe of the Point Place community. Her sensitive investigations reveal how young men and women draw on customary notions of respect and support to forge an ethos of connection and care that allows them to live far richer lives than ordinarily assumed. Her discussion of gender dynamics highlights terms like nakana - to care about or take notice of another - that young women and men use to construct `outside' and `inside' boyfriends and girlfriends and to communicate notions of trust. Challenging the idea that Point Place's residents need `rehabilitation', Margaretten argues that these young men and women want love, secure homes and the means to provide for their dependents - in short, the same hopes and aspirations mirrored across South African society.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of youth unemployment and is renowned for being one of the most unequal societies in the world. In this context, training and education play critical roles in helping young people escape poverty and unemployment. Post-school Education offers insights about the way in which young people in South Africa navigate their way through a host of post-school training and education options. The topics range from access to, and labour market transitions from, vocational education, adult education, universities, and workplace-based training. The individual chapters offer up-to-date analyses, identify some of the challenges that young people face when accessing training and education and also point to gaps between education and the labour market. The contributors are all experts in their respective components but write with a holistic view of the post-school education system, using an unashamedly empirical lens. Post-school Education will be of interest to all researchers and policymakers concerned with the transformative role of further education and training in society.
The challenge of including youth in the labour market is a problem which many European countries are facing. Examining the transition from education to employment, Youth, Diversity and Employment combines insights from law and the social sciences to link the challenges and specific barriers facing young and vulnerable people today. Based on original research, this book presents ways in which social protection policies in Europe can utilise the synergy between redistribution and regulations to combat economic inactivity and exclusion of young people. Drawing on the experiences of Nordic countries, which represent cases of high theoretical and political relevance, and systematically examining the significance of social regulation on the employment opportunities for young adults, this book develops an original approach to social protection policies. This book focuses on ways to strengthen the demand for the work capacity of European youth, identifying principles which will make the best progress in policy making to assist youth transitions into work. Arguing that gender, ethnicity, and disability are increasingly important factors to consider, chapters reveal how to ensure that the full use of skills that young adults have can be brought to the workforce effectively. This book will be a valuable tool for students and scholars of social policy, sociology, employment and human rights law, and cultural studies, as well as for researchers, who will find the analytical framework and new data useful for future research into youth transitions, policy, and social protection policies.
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.
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.
Conflict, crisis and instability form part of a chain of the dilemmas confronting development in much of the Arab world. With military intervention, occupation and civil war in Iraq and Palestine, most neighbouring countries such as Lebanon remain in a permanent state of flux. This book is unique in that it deals with some of the effects of regional instability on the development trajectories (or lack of them) in the Arab world. Using Lebanon as an example Fayyad explores the real meaning of the fragile states concepts that has become part of a dominant policy discourse in recent years - its implications for societal relations, civic space and the nature of socio-economic development.
Discovering methods to combat poverty and social exclusion has now become a major political challenge in Europe. Combating Poverty in Europe offers an original and timely analysis of how this challenge is met by actors at European, national and subnational levels. Building on a European study comparing Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the UK, this book provides new insights into the processes and mechanisms that promote or hinder interaction between the increasingly multi-layered European system for responding to poverty and social exclusion in EU member states. The contributors present systematic and comparative analyses of social policy design, institutional frameworks and delivery practices from a multi-level governance perspective. Original and diverse, this book will appeal to researchers and scholars in comparative social policy, as well as policy officials in the EU, national government and anti-poverty NGOs.
The world wanted South Africa’s true, liberated history – and the writing of it – to begin in 1994, but deep contradictions have quickly bubbled to the surface, revealing a society gripped in turmoil.
The results of all this have been, of course, paradoxical: a series of elections since 1994 seemed to confirm the ANC’s hold, both popular and legitimate, on power. Yet, simultaneously, South Africa has found itself with one of the world’s highest rates of protest and dissent, expressed both in the work-place and on township streets, in universities and technicons, clinics and central city squares. 16 August 2014 saw the lives of nearly three dozen platinum mineworkers end prematurely and violently. The premeditated “Marikana Massacre” demonstrated to the world how little Nelson Mandela’s ANC had changed South Africa’s core power relations, notwithstanding the dramatic, heroic victory over racist rule in 1994.
South Africa: The Present as History traces South African history from early days through the long European conquest and into two decades of democracy. The current socio-economic paradox – one that finds inequality, unemployment and poverty worsening since 1994 – reflect Mandela’s early 1990s concessions, choices which reduced the pursuit of genuine socio-economic and political transformation to the mere realisation of what can best be termed ‘low-intensity democracy’.
Analysing tensions exemplified by Marikana, the authors consider potential futures for an increasingly volatile society. Genuine liberatory possibilities could continue to be vanquished – but that is not the only possible results of today’s turmoil.
Confined in their governmental offices and with their eyes fixed on
the opinion polls, politicians and state officials are all too
often oblivious to the lives of their citizens. On the other hand,
the ordinary men and women who have so much hardship in their
lives, and so few means to make themselves heard, are obliged
either to protest outside the official frameworks or remain locked
in the silence of their despair.
Under the direction of Pierre Bourdieu, a team of sociologists
spent three years analysing the new forms of social suffering that
characterize contemporary societies - the suffering of those who
are denied the means of acquiring a socially dignified existence,
as well as the suffering of those who are poorly adjusted to the
rapidly changing social and economic conditions of their
Declining housing estates, the school, the family, street-level
state services, the everyday world of social workers, teachers and
policemen, factory workers and white-collar clerks, the universe of
small farmers and artisans, of teachers and of the unemployed and
partly employed: these are just some of the spaces where conflict
occurs, where specific discriminations and recriminations, tensions
and contradictions, abound and accumulate, and where new forms of
suffering are produced and experienced by ordinary people in the
course of their daily lives.
This book can be read like a series of short stories - the story
of a steel worker who was laid off after twenty years in the same
factory and who now struggles to support his family on unemployment
benefits and a part-time job; the story of a trade unionist who
finds his goals undermined by the changing nature of work; thestory
of a family from Algeria living in a housing estate in the
outskirts of Paris whose members have to cope with pervasive,
everyday forms of racism; the story of a school teacher confronted
with urban violence; and many others as well. Reading these stories
enables one to understand these people's lives and the forms of
social suffering which are part of them. And the reader will see
that this book offers not only a distinctive method for analysing
social life, but also another way of practising politics.
The publication of this book was a major social and political event in France, where it topped the best-seller list and triggered a wide-ranging public debate on inequality, politics and social solidarity. It will be essential reading for all those - including social scientists, educators, social and political activists and ordinary citizens - who are concerned about the current state of contemporary societies.
AS HEARD ON BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK. Educated meets Nickel and Dimed in Stephanie Land's memoir about working as a maid. A beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in the western world. Includes a foreword by international bestelling author Barbara Ehrenreich. 'My daughter learned to walk in a homeless shelter.' As a struggling single mum, determined to keep a roof over her daughter's head, Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, working long hours in order to provide for her small family. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today's inequitable society. As she worked hard to climb her way out of poverty as a single parent, scrubbing the toilets of the wealthy, navigating domestic labour jobs as a cleaner whilst also juggling higher education, assisted housing, and a tangled web of government assistance, Stephanie wrote. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told. The stories of the overworked and underpaid. Written in honest, heart-rending prose and with great insight, Maid explores the underbelly of the upper-middle classes and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them. 'I'd become a nameless ghost,' Stephanie writes. With this book, she gives voice to the 'servant' worker, those who fight daily to scramble and scrape by for their own lives and the lives of their children.
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