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South Africa consequently had to arrange for a down payment of $600 million at a rate perceived to be extraordinarily high. It was too late for the country to induce any negotiations of the deal. Serious agreements ensued thus maneuvering South Africa to pay back much of the nation's hard currency debt in a short period. This led to the emergence of a new democratic regime stemming from an intense decade of internal turmoil. This placed a strong constraint on balancing the payments. In the period of 1993 and 1999, a formidable movement of labor groups, NGOs, and churches led protests against the repayment of the apartheid debts. Instead, they lobbied for rapid reparations for those who had previously been discriminated (Mercer 44).
The South African government economic policy of the previous years of 2000s was characterized by fiscal discipline and epitomized by GEAR. This policy did not deliver expected growth and jobs. Instead, it created room for reconsidering the development strategy of the government. The economy of the post apartheid regime was decimated by rising unemployment and low investment. In 2003, the rate of unemployment was approximately thirty percent higher than in any middle class nation such as Egypt and Brazil, which were comparable to South Africa in terms of economic performance. Responding to this crisis, the government designed a systematic strategy; while adopting significant reforms that increased expenditure on basic social services and housing. However, South Africa gave a different treatment to anti-poverty measures while treating economic policy differently, too. Although the policies were strategies to assist the poor, they were not incorporated in the government's overall strategy. The 2003 summit on growth and development manifested that the ruling state was in disagreement. This disagreement was brought about by ongoing debates on what strategy the government should adopt. Critics have attributed the neoliberalism's weak performance in South Africa to the temporary costs of transformation. In this regard, they made growth projections in the near future. On the other hand, some argued that South Africa was in dire need of more policies of intervention (Madi 71).
It is evident that the rate of unemployment increased from seventeen percent (in 1996) to thirty percent in 2003. Nevertheless, the figure increased to forty-one percent when citizens were discouraged from seeking employment. Looking at world standards, this was extremely high. Unemployment has been associated with shifts in informal work industry. In addition, the decline in remuneration slashed the consumer buying power by half. According to available statistics, high rates of unemployment were observed among the blacks, women, and the young. Still in 2003, the rate of unemployment remained heavily based on race. It affected fifty percent of Africans and only nine percent of the whites. Concerning African women, the unemployment rate was fifty-four percent (Nel and Christian 50).
This was in correspondence to a steep fall in the incomes of African households. Government statistics reveal that the average income of black households decreased by 20% between 1996 and 2001. On the other hand, the income for white households increased from twenty-two percent to thirty percent during the same period. Accordingly, the majority has insulated a portion of wealthy whites and a small percentage of elite blacks while they enjoy the most luxurious lifestyle. Regionally, the nation's GDP was used to mask the significant difference in terms of economic performance. The distribution income of the region had been greatly diverging. Regions that were relatively poor were expected to become much poorer while richer regions maintained their wealthy positions. They absorbed all economic activities and growth poles from their environment. In addition, this pattern of core periphery obstinately resisted amelioration by policies endorsed by the government (Bearden and James 73).
It is not easy to imagine the hardships that the Apartheid regime caused to South African citizens. South Africans were categorized according to their physical features and ancestry. This strategy was adopted to deter these citizens from petitioning for change that could have led to a better lifestyle and treatment. This regime was naturally malevolent prompting well-known reactions that vary from armed struggle to silent suffering of the liberal movements. Nelson Mandela and other people like him were armed with anti-imperialist ideologies and real weapons dedicated their lives to the democracy of the nation. Evidently, the movement had been put in an unfavorable condition by the conditions and terms of the peaceful shift of the transition to democracy. Nationalization and exploration were irrelevant at this moment since the Soviet system of economy had collapsed.
The African National Congress led the new democratic government for years. However, the government engaged a benign strategy of blue prints used by redistributionist known as development and reconstruction program. This encompassed policy guidelines such as RDP and economic and political liberals condemned it as too radical. Agents of the neoliberal government such as the World Bank and Bank of South Africa helped in engaging top thinkers in a series of scenario planning practices. These exercised were intended to neutralize the opposition while opening doors for maximum neoliberalism. South Africa realized these aspirations in 1996, when it adopted the government growth, redistribution, and employment program. South Africa's Black Economic Empowerment Program (BEE) had been convinced that it was inappropriate to consider South African as unambitious because they extended the control and business equity to formerly disadvantaged group.
Bearden, Milt, and James Risen. The Main Enemy: The Inside Story of the CIA's Final Showdown with the KGB. New York: Random House, 2003. Internet resource.
Brookes, Edgar H. Apartheid: A Documentary Study of Modern South Africa. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 2009. Print.
Giddens, Anthony. Introduction to Sociology. New York: W.W. Norton, 2012. Print.
Karolides, Nicholas J. Literature Suppressed on Political Grounds. New York: Infobase Pub, 2006. Internet resource.
Madi, Phinda M. Black Economic Empowerment in the New South Africa: The Rights and the Wrongs. Randburg: Knowledge Resources (Pty) Ltd., 2007. Print.
Mercer, Ilana. Into the Cannibal's Pot: Lessons for America from Post-Apartheid South Africa. Mount Vernon, WA: Stairway Press, 2011. Print.
Nel, Etienne L, and Christian M. Rogerson. Local Economic Development in the Changing World: The Experience of Southern Africa. New Brunswick,…[continue]
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