• Corrupt councillors

    We need to expose defaulters and take back our municipalities now, says Mandi Smallhorne.

  • Davos 2017 fail

    The WEF has provided little in the way of responsive and responsible leadership, says Terry Bell.

  • Inside Labour

    No South African, with or without a job, should be condemned to poverty, says Patrick Craven.

All data is delayed
See More

SA must fight inequality, warns analyst

Feb 25 2013 20:30
It is a fallacy that the National Development Plan addresses inequality and that failure to do so will guarantee more social and labour unrest, political analyst Adam Habib said on Monday.

"The National Development Plan does not go after inequality... what it wants to do is drive poverty alleviation," Habib said in a dialogue with fellow academic Stephen Friedman at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town.

He said the NDP sought to create growth and employment through a range of unobjectionable measures, but ignored the fact that growth accrued to the middle classes faster, thanks to their investments, than to those at the bottom of the scale.

"So as growth happens and as income grows at the base of society, what you also have is that people at the top are growing faster and therefore inequality levels are growing faster."

Habib said this phenomenon had played itself out in India and China over the past 15 years.

He warned it posed a bigger risk in South Africa because the country had the highest levels of inequality in the world.

"If you don't bring inequality levels down we are going to have a repeat of Marikana, we are going to have a repeat of De Doorns, we are going to have a repeat of the violent service delivery protests that are happening.

"Essentially what we are confronted with today is a rage building at the base of society, and that rage is built at the base of society because of the levels of inequality in our society."

Habib said the outrage of the poor was steadily fed by executives who owned millions, politicians who drove luxury cars, and a president who spent millions on his homestead at Nkandla while telling workers, who demanded better increases and citizens who demanded better services, to be patient.

"We can deal with poverty alleviation as much as we like. As long as we don't deal with inequality this society will burn. It might not burn today, it might not burn tomorrow, but it will if we allow inequality levels to increase as they have," he added.
adam habib  |  service delivery  |  ndp



Read Fin24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Company Snapshot

We're talking about: SMALL BUSINESS

From fossils to finance – that’s been the career trajectory of Dr Merrill van der Walt, a palaeontologist until recently. She is now a statistician with a difference.

Money Clinic

Money Clinic
Do you have a question about your finances? We'll get an expert opinion.
Click here...

Voting Booth

How did you buy your property?

Previous results · Suggest a vote