Poor are excluded from inequality debate and at this rate will ...

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Poor are excluded from inequality debate and at this rate will remain so

SA’s economic policies are embracing big business, while ignoring the poor. Why is no-one denouncing this?

Steven Friedman

There is something missing in South African politics and public debate today — a loud and organised voice campaigning against poverty and inequality.

This absence is particularly surprising at the moment. Of course, poverty and inequality here are not new. The disparities between huge wealth and grinding poverty have been a feature of SA at least since the late 19th century, when super-rich Randlords (mine owners) lived in mansions while working people risked their lives underground for little pay. But the problem is particularly stark right now.

When Covid-19 reached SA, we heard confident predictions that economic and social life would have to change for the better because the pandemic had shown how costly this country’s economic inequities are. But if there has been change, it has been in the opposite direction — life has become even harder for most. ..

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