Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-59b7f5684b-n9lxd Total loading time: 0.285 Render date: 2022-10-03T08:22:04.384Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "displayNetworkTab": true, "displayNetworkMapGraph": false, "useSa": true } hasContentIssue true

Democracy and distribution in highly unequal economies: the case of South Africa

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 October 2001

Nicoli Nattrass
Affiliation:
School of Economics, University of Cape Town, South Africa.
Jeremy Seekings
Affiliation:
Departments of Politics & Sociology, University of Cape Town.

Abstract

Given that incomes in South Africa are distributed very unequally, it might be expected that the establishment of representative democracy would result in the adoption of redistributive policies. Yet overall inequality has not declined since 1994. The electoral and party system provides uneven pressure for redistribution. The fact that poor South Africans have the vote ensures that some areas of public policy do help the poor. The post-apartheid government not only inherited a surprisingly redistributive set of social policies (welfare, education and health care), but has made changes that entail even more redistribution. But these policies do little to help a core section of the poor in South Africa: the unemployed, and especially households in which no one is working. Other public policies serve to disadvantage this marginalised constituency: labour market and other economic policies serve to steer the economy down a growth path that shuts out many of the unskilled and unemployed. The workings of these policies remain opaque, making it unlikely that poor citizens will use their vote to effect necessary policy reforms.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2001 Cambridge University Press

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
40
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Democracy and distribution in highly unequal economies: the case of South Africa
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Democracy and distribution in highly unequal economies: the case of South Africa
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Democracy and distribution in highly unequal economies: the case of South Africa
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *