The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Son 2018

State of the Nation 2018 covers a diversity of perspectives that highlight the interrelationship and intersectionality between structural, economic, cultural and psychosocial dimensions of the South African social experience. Specifically, the authors analyse the complexity of poverty and inequality beyond an over-determination of the economic and the wealth index in South Africa.

Inequality results in deeply entrenched social and economic exclusions that inhibit sustainable human development and self-actualisation. It goes beyond food crises, health care access, infrastructure development and availability of resources, and affects the heart of political conflicts, climate change, the inequitable treatment of capital and workers, and indeed human relations. The combination of inequality with structural poverty, severe unemployment and slow economic recovery sets challenges throughout society, from political leadership to communities and families. Starting from a global perspective, each of the volume’s chapters offers significant critiques and analyses, including topics such as socio-economic rights, migration, indebtedness, the context of the National Development Plan, informal trading and education.

Diagnosis enables us to identify the nature, causes and circumstances of the problem. Our prognosis offers opinions, forecasts and predictions related to the symptoms. Our responses enable perspectives and techniques to interrogate new ways of thinking about the problems, and which may help close the gap, minimize inequalities and offer directions towards the resolution of poverty and inequality.

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 352
ISBN 13 : 978-0-7969-2442-1
Publish Year : March 2019
Rights : World Rights

1 Soudien, Reddy and Woolard

Poverty and inequality in South Africa: The state of the discussion in 2018

PART 1: SOUTH AFRICA AND THE WORLD

2 Therborn
South African Inequalities in a Global Perspective

3 Seekings
Poverty and Inequality: South Africa in a Continental Context

4 Schoeman
South Africa and the struggle for international equality

PART 2: POLITICS, ETHICS AND THE STATE

5 Bundy
Post-apartheid inequality and the long shadow of history
6 Kistner, Van Marle, Ismail-Sooliman
Philosophical, Historical and Jurisprudential Perspectives on Poverty in South Africa – The Limits of Rights
7 Bohler-Muller, Pienaar, Davids and Gordon
Eliminating poverty and inequality by realising socioeconomic rights? A reconceptualised constitutional dialogue
8 Masilela, Rule and Adams
Accounting for the capabilities and social value of migrants: The distance to openness

Part 3: THE ECONOMY

9 Mbewe, Woolard & Davis
Wealth taxation as an instrument to reduce wealth inequality in South Africa
10 Hagg and Pophiwa
Customs, mineral wealth and the service delivery nexus: Bafokeng approaches to overcoming poverty and inequality
11 James
Indebtedness and aspiration in South Africa

PART 4 SOCIETY (The Social Economy)

12 Moletsane and Reddy
The National Development Plan as a Response to Poverty and Inequality in South Africa: A Cultural Values Reading
13 Sanchez-Betancourt, Davids and Barolsky
Upgrading informal trading: impacts on livelihoods and cohesion in Khayelitsha'
14 Higgins
Abstract Human Right or Material Practice? Academic Freedom in an Unequal Society
15 Bank & Kruss
Beyond the Campus Gate: Higher Education and Place-Based Development in South Africa

Reddy, Soudien and Woolard
Poverty and Inequality: A preliminary postscript


Prof Crain Soudien is the Chief Executive Officer of the Human Sciences Research Council and formerly a Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Cape Town where he remains an emeritus professor in Education and African Studies. His publications in the areas of social difference, culture, education policy, comparative education, educational change, public history and popular culture include three books, three edited collections and over 190 articles, reviews, reports and book chapters. He was educated at the University of Cape Town and Unisa and holds a PhD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Prof Ingrid Woolard is the Dean of the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences and Professor of Economics at Stellenbosch University. Ingrid’s areas of research interest include the measurement of poverty and inequality, unemployment, social protection and fiscal policy. She is a Research Affiliate at the Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town, a Research Fellow of the Institute for the Study of Labour, a Senior Research Associate at UNU-WIDER in Helsinki and a Research Associate of the Commitment to Equity Institute. She is strongly committed to providing research-led policy advice - from 2008 to 2014 she served on the Employment Conditions Commission and from 2013-2018 she served on the Davis Tax Committee.


Vasu Reddy is a Professor of Sociology, and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Pretoria. His research interests include human development and identity marker issues (notably genders, sexualities, HIV and AIDS, inequalities and social justice). He has published in these fields in both local and international journals, as well as in co-edited volumes and co-authored monographs. He previously worked as an executive director at the Human Sciences Research Council, and at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Some publications are Care in Context: Transnational Gender Perspectives (with Stephan Meyer, Tammy Shefer & Thenjiwe Meyiwa, 2014; HSRC Press), Queer in Africa: LGBTQI Identities, Citizenship and Activism (with Zethu Matebeni & Surya Monro, 2018; Routledge) and Queer Kinship: South African perspectives on the sexual politics of family-making and belonging (with Tracy Morison and Ingrid Lynch, 2018, UNISA Press & Routledge).

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