Local Trade Poverty Alleviation In Rsa

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The significance of the local trade in natural resource products for livelihoods and poverty alleviation in South Africa (Proposal)

Poverty and Development in South Africa



The “homelands” were remote, devoid of economic activities, and extremely overpopulated. Soon they were among the world's poorest and most degraded areas. Institutions obviously spent money on white areas while leaving black enclaves without the most basic of services. The system of apartheid was preserved also by impoverishing neighboring states. South Africa waged a full-scale war against Mozambique and Angola and imposed an economic blockade on Lesotho, Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.

In the end, therefore, apartheid did not impoverish black communities only, but the whole of the South African state and the South African region. South Africa was forced to borrow phenomenal sums of money to keep the expensive system of surveillance and segregation in place and, especially in the late 1980s, was the target of economic sanctions. Neighboring states had to borrow equally phenomenal amounts of money to defend themselves from South African aggression and destabilization.

The economic legacy of apartheid is still very visible today. People are no longer discriminated against for their race, yet they continue to be discriminated against on the basis of class. Studies point out that economic inequality has deepened since the rise in power of the African National Congress in 1994. While a black elite has joined the white one at the head of South African society, and the black bourgeoisie is finding more opportunities thanks to a free market economy, the poor are becoming even poorer. Communities have been forced out of South African townships because they can no longer afford to pay mortgage rates imposed by banks, while others have faced substantial rises in electricity and water bills. Entire areas have been denied such services.

Because its economic legacy is still visible after a decade of its demise, apartheid has become synonymous with poverty. Tellingly, the former South African President Nelson Mandela linked the two concepts in his speech before a G-8 meeting in 2005. Speaking at the first rally of the campaign “Make Poverty History,” Mandela claimed, “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.

Problem Statement

The clear relationship between the apartheid system and black poverty can be seen in the data on the ratio of black income to white income. From 1946 to 1960, despite a decrease in the white proportion of the population, a constant 70 percent of South Africa's national income went to whites. Between 1970 and 1980, when violent protests began to spread throughout the country, this fell to 60 percent, still a huge proportion considering the whites' minority status. When the homeland policy was finally enforced, 29 million black South Africans were squeezed into 13 percent of the national territory.

Purpose of the Study

In this dissertation, these issues, including the contribution of common but often neglected and relatively invisible to investigate local trade in natural products ...
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