Ten Years into Democracy: Examining the Impact of Globalisation on Development Funding for SA NGOs

Friday, 30 April, 2004 - 23:00

Research Paper, 2004. SANGONeT.

Extract from the Paper

Critics on the left and the right, on the inside and the outside of the government hold globalisation responsible for the stubborn prevalence of poverty and inequality in South Africa (SA), albeit with differing accents. This finger is not pointed without merit. For while globalization may be described as a mere process (Tomlinson, 1997), as opposed to a grand moment in the evolution of world history, it is precisely its insidious and artfully benign character that positions it as a force to be reckoned with.

In the South African context, the flaccid execution of the Reconstruction and Development Program (RDP) is a clear indicator of the command of globalisation. Within two years of democracy, the RDP was shelved in favour of the neo-liberal growth, employment and redistribution (Gear) strategy as the state’s macro-economic blueprint, which endures to this day. This is but one example of how the push/pull, carrot/stick nature of the relationship between dominant global forced and this nascent democracy smothered all its prospects for presenting an original and non-conformist solution to its development dilemma. However, while the South African state implies that globalization has a life of its own that subsumes the efforts of nation states, in a paper that explored the relationship between the state and globalisation, Panitch (1994) charges that this is a pathetic excuse.

To read the paper, click here.

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