Empowerment through Economic Transformation is the third in a trilogy of volumes commissioned by the HSRC to study the transformation process in post-apartheid South Africa. It follows two studies published in 2000 entitled Infrastructure Mandates for Change and Empowerment through Service Delivery.
This volume opens with an examination of some of the theoretical issues around the concepts of transformation and empowerment, supplemented by 15 case studies that look at the prospects for empowerment through the transformation of the South African economy. These studies focus on such topics as public-private partnerships, spatial development corridors, labour market, small business and poverty-alleviation strategies, and infrastructure development in such areas as water management.
The collection reaches two main conclusions. One, that the radical proposals contained in the original Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) have been undermined by the switch to the Growth, Employment and Redistribution Strategy (GEAR) and two, that the goals of empowerment and transformation in South Africa are further undermined by such legacies of the apartheid past as limited technical and human skills compounded by the negative consequences of the globalisation process.