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Economic Restructuring and Poverty Traps in South Africa

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A change in political power within the dominant African National Congress occurred in tandem with the global economic slowdown, heralding intensification in public policy debate between two major contending streams – each with variants – of thinking that share an unintended complicity. This complicity is that current policies will fail to break poverty traps that still bear the imprint of apartheid, but which have been entrenched due to an experiment in ‘managed liberalization’. This article starts with an exploration of the two major streams before focusing in on the impacts of the crises in South Africa. Finally, the Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen argues that a set of policies centred around improving opportunities and assets are urgently needed if South Africa is to meet its developmental objectives and break the self-reinforcing mechanism of economic exclusion.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: September 1, 2009

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