Why Inequality is Prevalent in South Africa

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ANC three Presidents

Presidents Zuma, Mandela & Mbeki

The BBC recently conducted in depth interviews with different stakeholders about the reasons for inequality in South Africa. These insightful interviews offer a glimpse into issues that South Africa is facing and the roots of those problems. Some blame the education system, the ANC, the struggle for independence and even corruption.

However, another viewpoint shows that there were fundamental problems created through decisions made in trying to broker independence. It is refreshing to hear about the role of big business, IMF and World Bank in shaping the current South African economy because too often people brush over the influential role of these organizations.

After many years of colonialism, many African leaders made huge compromises that still haunt their countries today. What happened to South Africa also happened to Zimbabwe at the Lancaster House agreement. While we don’t want to just blame our liberation heroes for the choices they made to make us free, we want them to be transparent about those faulty decision so that new and better decision can be made.

This brief but insightful podcast offers a rare glimpse into the myriad of problems that Africans governments face. While trying to please the local people they also have to please foreign entities like the IMF, World Bank etc so they can receive the funds needed to fund healthcare and education projects. However, these organizations use capitalist models that encourage private sector growth and reduction in government spending. Reducing government spending is often something that most African government cannot afford because of inferior access to healthcare and education that was perpetuated by colonial governments. While South Africa faces many of the same problems that most African governments have to deal with, there is always hope that changes can be made to make Africans more prosperous. I believe change is coming but only when citizens begin to ask questions and demand higher standards from their leaders rather than idolize them because helped to fight apartheid.

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