“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” - William Faulkner
Poverty reduction, inequality and unemployment are expected to take a centre stage as the 14th session of the Africa-Nordic foreign ministers dialogue enters its second and final day at Mookgopong in Limpopo.
The forum, which was established in the year 2000, aims to establish new perspectives for the friendship, cooperation and solidarity that exists between various African countries and the Nordic countries.
The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says that over half of South Africa's credit-active consumers are over-indebted.
SAHRC Western Cape provincial manager, Karam Singh, points out that, “Of 19 million credit-active consumers in South Africa, 50 percent had impaired credit records, three months plus in arrears.”
Singh says that the macro-economic system that South Africa has continues to favour historical wealth creation and that the country’s economic system perpetuates inequality and is characterised by weak regulatory oversight.
Small Business Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, says foreign shop owners must share their trade secrets with people in townships where they operate to curb violence and looting.
Zulu points out that, “Black people were never part of the economy of South Africa in terms of owning anything, therefore when they see other people coming from outside being successful they feel like the space is being closed by foreigners.”
She says that it is important for the foreigners to share with the South Africans about what it is that makes it possible for them to be successful.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) says the returns on smart investments in young people could be as much as US$500 billion a year to sub Saharan economies over the next 30 years.
In its report titled ‘The Power of 1.8 Billion: Adolescents, Youth and the Transformation of the Future’, the UNPFA highlights that developing countries with large youth populations could see their economics soar if the right investments are made in education, health planning and protection of rights.
New data by the Richest Lifestyle magazine, which captures the outlook of the gross domestic product (GDP) in each country as of 2014, reveals that Malawi is ranked the eighth poorest country in Africa.
The ranking takes into account the total market value of goods and services produced by the national economy during the last year in regards to each person in the country.
Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change has recently described Zimbabwe’s unemployment rate of 85 percent as a ticking time bomb.
In its 2013 election manifesto, President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party claimed unemployment levels stood at 60 percent.
According to Justice Project South Africa chairperson, Howard Dembovsky, the company responsible for running the controversial e-tolling system in Gauteng ‘could not care less’ about employees affected by its decision to retrench.
The Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) believes this sends a clear indications that the system is going bust.
Dembovsky is of the view that, “People are disposable liabilities and are considered to be ‘collateral damage’ by executives and corporations.”
Senior researcher within the Humanity Faculty at the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA), Leslie Dikeni, believes it is structural problems within societies that create poverty, ‘people are not born poor’.
Speaking on SAfm’s Forum@8, Dikeni argues that although government has clear policies that seek to eradicate poverty, the debate of whether those policies are effective or not still needs to continue.
The Oppostion to Urban Tolling Alliance (OUTA) believes the questionable execution of e-tolling in Gauteng had paved its road to failure.
Speaking at an advisory panel on e-tolls which looks at the systems socioeconomic impact, OUTA chairperson Wayne Duvenage was demonstrating reasons for the failure of the system.
Duvenage, states that, “We are wasting everyday peoples’ money… we need to switch the system off.”