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Why the South African economy misfires – and what you and I can do about it

21 June 2021 7:38 PM
Tags:
Inequality
The Money Show
South African economy
Bruce Whitfield
business books
book reviews
business book reviews
inequality in South Africa
Ayabonga Cawe
The Economy on Your Doorstep
Tracey McDonald Publishers

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews development economist Ayabonga Cawe, author of "The Economy on Your Doorstep".
  • South Africa has deep, sophisticated financial and capital markets – it is also the most unequal society in the world

  • The Economy on Your Doorstep examines the “tragic paradox” of South African life, and outlines areas that can define policy towards a "people’s economy"


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Every week The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviews the author of a new or trending business book.

This week Whitfield interviewed Ayabonga Cawe, author of “The Economy on Your Doorstep” (scroll up to listen).

Cawe is a development economist, columnist, broadcaster, and activist.

Description by Tracey McDonald Publishers:

“We must look beyond the now, the current economy on our doorstep, and … reach out to a humanity that lies dormant in all of us.”

While the depth and sophistication of South Africa’s financial and capital markets are lauded by indices the world over, South Africa is also considered to be the most unequal society in the world.

The Economy on Your Doorstep probes the reasons for this tragic paradox of South African life and tries to go through and beyond the graphs, margin calls, trading updates, indices, and earnings reports to explain how economic “actions” frame the lives of South Africans in a transitional society faced with the challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality.

The economy is and always has been primarily about “people”. How they live, what they produce, under what conditions and what social, political and environmental factors influence decisions of consumption, investment, and distribution – and how they act under conditions of uncertainty, scarcity, need and crisis.

After all, economies are about people coming together to produce, exchange, distribute and consume goods and services that emerge from their communities and those of others.

How and under what conditions can we ensure the expansion of our productive forces, while expanding access to the base of assets, services and support that allow for the social reproduction of our entire society and workforce?

Ayabonga Cawe outlines some key areas that can and should define a policy agenda towards a “people’s economy” in South Africa and the long-term objectives of such a policy programme and engages with the political economy of 21st century South Africa through an analysis of a few selected areas of the economy and the implications of this for policy action.

This is what this book is about – an exposition of what we see around us and an explanation and discussion of possible ways beyond it.

In this well-researched book, Ayabonga Cawe, a development economist, columnist, and broadcaster, makes sense of the post-apartheid political economy through the lives of the many people who live and survive in it every day.


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why the South African economy misfires – and what you and I can do about it




21 June 2021 7:38 PM
Tags:
Inequality
The Money Show
South African economy
Bruce Whitfield
business books
book reviews
business book reviews
inequality in South Africa
Ayabonga Cawe
The Economy on Your Doorstep
Tracey McDonald Publishers

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