Historical Formation Of Social and Economic Inequalities In South Africa A Marxist Perspective

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 11:45 AM
Room: 419
Distributed Paper
Noel CHELLAN , University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa
Twenty years after South Africa achieved a democratic dispensation, it is still one of the most unequal societies in the world. Twenty-first century South Africa is still characterised by high levels of poverty, crime, HIV/AIDs, social and cultural racial polarisation, large volumes of economic wealth and land in the hands of the few, rampant corruption in both the private and public sector and high unemployment levels. August 2012 witnessed the black government of South Africa shoot and kill 34 striking miners in the township of Marikana. Whilst the relatively new democratic dispensation has delivered many new freedoms for the people of South Africa, the legacy of colonialism and apartheid is still evident in many spheres of South African life. For many decades South Africa’s gigantic problems have been largely attributed to racial intolerance and antagonism. Whilst race has been a major factor in deciding the haves and the have nots of South African society, this paper argues that a Marxist analysis of South Africa is the most appropriate conceptual framework in which to truly understand the unequal nature of South Africa and more importantly to chart a way forward for a more equal and just  South Africa.