Has the post 1994 South African government succeeded in improving the economic status of previously disadvantage groups? In the following essay I will be discussing the co dependence of the economy and politics in South Africa.
3. Shift in political power
After 27 April 1994 South Africa was challenged with enormous economic and political transformation. The power of political dominance now lied with the previously disadvantaged black majority and this brought on the necessity to re-evaluate existing racial discrimination and unearned privileges.
On the journey to transformation a number of law reform and Affirmative Action (AA) measures have been initiated, for example the Labour Relations Act of 1995, the Constitution of South Africa of 1996, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act of 1997. After these came the Employment Equity Act of 1999, the Skills Development Act of 1998 and the Skills Development Levies Act of 1999. The intention of the last two Acts was to promote recruitment, succession planning, development and training amongst persons in designated groups and finally to address the skills gap. (Booysen, 2007) These policies were created and implemented to impact on as many South Africans as possible and not only to benefit large businesses and a chosen few individuals of society.
In President Jacob Zuma’s address to the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment Summit on the 3rd of October 2013 at the Gallagher Estate in Johannesburg he discussed the successes and failures since the passing of the BBEEE Act 10 years ago.
President Zuma confirmed that they approach economic transformation by:
• creating decent employment for all South Africans
• eliminating poverty and dealing decisively with extreme inequalities in our society,
• demonstrating ownership and control of the economy by empowering the previously disadvantaged,
• restructuring the economy so that it meets the basic needs of all South Africans,
• ensuring equitable and mutually beneficial regional development in Southern Africa thereby fostering progressive integration of the region
• Limiting the negative environmental impact of our economic transformation programme
President Zuma also confirmed that since 1994 the employment figures increased by more than 3.5 million and the impressive growth in the black middle class were due to progressive government policies. The disposable income per capita household increased by 1.9% per year. The recent income and expenditure survey from Statistics South Africa indicates a significant increase in household consumption. The key items of consumption are housing, communication, education and transport for example correlateswith a rising middle...