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Inequality worsens in SA despite neoliberal spin



BRETTON WOODS INSTITUTION NARRATIVES ABOUT INEQUALITY AND ECONOMIC VULNERABILITY ON THE EVE OF SOUTH AFRICAN AUSTERITY
By Patrick Bond International Journal of Health Services, June 2015

South Africa is probably the world’s site of most sustained class struggle over at least the past three decades, as codified recently by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report’s reputational consideration of worker hostility to business ( , p. 484) and by ‘unrest’ statistics from the SA Police Service confirming, in 2013-14, 1907 violent protests (and many thousands more non-violent). In the country with what is considered the world’s greatest mineral resource endowment (valued by Citi Group at $2.5 trillion), consider two other leading variables: the world’s highest income inequality amongst large countries (in 2011, the top 10 percent captured 58 percent of income and the bottom 30 percent had only 8 percent, a worsening trend), and the most corrupt corporate class on earth according to the business consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers in February 2014. Drawing on its survey, The Times labeled South African management “the world leader in money-laundering, bribery and corruption, procurement fraud, asset misappropriation, and cybercrime”, with 77 percent of all internal fraud committed by senior and middle management. (This may help explain SA’s 2013 rating as the third most profitable country for corporations among major economies, according to the International Monetary Fund.)

In contrast, South Africa’s most compelling statistic is the rise in life expectancy from 52 in 2005 to 61 in 2014 (still down from a peak of 63 two decades earlier). While partially attributed to declines in infant and maternal mortality, this exceptional progress was mainly due the sudden availability of antiretroviral medicines following Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) activists’ defeat of official state AIDS denialism and pharmaceutical corporate profiteering. In an epic battle, which briefly entered the courts but which was mostly waged on the streets, TAC won access to generic drugs for three million HIV+ patients. In the public service in 2015, 2.8 million receive the medicines for free, whereas fifteen years ago a standard ARV course cost $15,000 annually.

Nevertheless, the country’s already extreme health financing discrepancies are worsening, with an enormous divide between public and private sectors, confirming that a National Health Insurance (NHI) system is vitally needed to begin establishing balance. Although this was recognized in 2007 when the ruling African National Congress (ANC) approved the NHI during a major policy conference and in 2012 when a Green Paper policy document was produced, it has since been reduced to a few pilot projects without adequate funding (less than $1.5 million). There is no immediate prospect of change, in part because of the waning of policy advocacy capacity by two major NHI lobbyists, TAC and the healthworker union within the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

As a result, in January 2015, the Financial Mail could quote the SA Treasury’s deputy director general responsible for social spending, Michael Sachs (who happens to be the son of the late SA Communist Party’s legendary leader, Joe Slovo): “Even if no changes are made to health policy, demographic pressures and expected high utilization growth rates mean that ever greater resources will be needed just to sustain the current level of healthcare spending and service provision up to 2040. If NHI is introduced, public health spending as a share of GDP will skyrocket from around 4 percent of GDP now to close to 7 percent by 2040, the model warns”. That ‘skyrocket’ would place South Africa within a band of middle-income countries, where it should be. At present the country’s social spending is half as large as Brazil’s, as a percentage of GDP.
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http://joh.sagepub.com/content/45/3/415.abstract

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 Patrick Bond speaks on South African political economy, Hong Kong Reader bookshop, 11 May 
 Gcina Makoba, Bandile Mdlalose & China Ngubane CCS Seminar: Rhodes' walls must fall! 30 April  
 CCS Film Screening: The GAMA Strike A victory for all workers, 24 April 
 Faith ka Manzi & Bandile Mdlalose at Climate Justice strategy meeting, Maputo, April 21-23 
 Patrick Bond lectures on degrowth and the green economy, Berlin, 21 April 
 Paul Kariuki, Bandile Mdlalose, China Ngubane CCS Seminar: Xenophobia in Durban, 14 April 
 CCS joins Greenpeace and R2K in solidarity meeting with Somkhele coal victims, northern KZN, 12 April 
 Patrick Bond lecture on water commodification and resistance at Zimbabwe Sustainable Economics Forum, Harare, 9 April 
 China Ngubane & Jean-Pierre Lukamba CCS Seminar: Xenophobia in Isipingo, 7 April 
 Alice Thomson, Desmond D’Sa & Patrick Bond CCS Seminar: Liberal and radical approaches to Environmental Justice campaigning, 1 April 
 Patrick Bond speaks on coalitions for national economic sovereignty, World Social Forum, University of Tunis el Manar, 25 March 
 Akin Akiboye & Jorim Gerrard CCS Seminar: Xenophobia and displacement, 17 March 
 Sofie Hellberg CCS Seminar: Water, life and politics in Durban, 10 March 
 Faith kaManzi, Nonhle Mbuthuma, Melissa Hansen & others International Women’s Day at the UKZN Centre for Civil Society: Resistance to Resource Cursing in KZN, the Eastern Cape and the DRC, 9th March 
 Israeli Apartheid Week Events 2 - 8 March 
 Baruti Amisi and Boaventura Monjane speak at US Power Africa conference, University of Illinois, 2-4 March 
 Baruti Amisi, Gerard Boyce & Patrick Bond CCS Workshop: 'False solutions' to climate and energy crises, 26 February 
 Carlos Cardoso CCS Seminar: Knowledge production and intellectual formation in Africa from Codesria's perspective, 20 February 
 Benny Wenda CCS Seminar: The campaign to free West Papua, 19 February 
 Gcina Makoba & Faith ka-Manzi CCS Seminar: Campaigning against coal in KZN, 18 February 
 Patrick Bond debates BRICS sherpa Anil Sooklal, UCT Centre for Conflict Resolution, 16 February 
 Desmond D'Sa, David Le Page, Bhavna Deonarain, Winnie Mdletshe & others: Launch of Fossil Free KZN, 13 February 
 Angus Joseph CCS Seminar: Climate justice and solidarity from Lima to Paris, 13 February 
 Nhamo Chikowore & China Ngubane Zimbabwe's new conjuncture and SA's new xenophobia, 6 February 
 Baruti Amisi, Brain Amza & and Jacky Kabidu DRC uprising, repression and solidarity, 5 February 
 Chris Coward CCS Seminar: New spaces of social activism, 28 January 
 Immanuel Ness CCS Seminar: Lessons from the labour movements of China and India, 27 January 
 Patrick Bond CCS Seminar: Electricity crisis scenarios, 20 January 
 Patrick Bond CCS Seminar: Oil spills, coal digs, resource cursing and resistance, 12 January 
 Events Index 2014 
 Gcina Makoba & Patrick Bond CCS Seminar: United Front Preparatory Assembly assessment, 22 December 
 Thando Manzi, Au Loong Yu & John Devenish CCS Seminar: BRICS-from-below struggles for justice, 19 December 
 CCS hosts South Durban climate camp, 8-11 December 
 Patrick Bond, Bandile Mdlalose, Shauna Mottiar, Themba Mchunu & China Ngubane CCS press conference and workshop: Durban politics stressed to break-point, 5 December 
 Mondli Hlatshwayo CCS Seminar: Organised labour's losses since 1994, worker-community relations after 2014, 28 November 
 Patrick Bond critiques World Bank at UWC poverty conference, 27 November 
 CCS hosts launch of Fossil Free South Africa, 27 November 
 Faith ka-Manzi debates SA social protest at Gumede Lecture, Durban History Museum, 27 November 
 Melissa Hansen CCS Seminar: Struggles over conservation space in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, 24 November  
 Patrick Bond lectures on Africa's Resource Curse, Stellenbosch University, 20 November 
 Vuyiseka Dubula, Faith ka-Manzi & Mzamo Zondi CCS Seminar: Treatment Action Campaign reaches the knife-edge, 18 November, 2014 
 CCS hosts Durban environmental network, 15 November 
 Aziz Choudry CCS Seminar: Learning and research in social movements, 14 November 
 Aziz Choudry CCS Seminar: NGOization, 'civil society' and social change: Complicity, contradictions and prospects, 13 November 
 Gun Free South Africa workshop with CCS, 12 November 
 Creesen Naicker CCS Seminar: Sport for Development in South Africa, 11 November 
 Patrick Bond joins SA panel at Historical Materialism conference, London, 7 November 
 Patrick Bond lectures on neoliberalism and social policy at South-South Institute in Bangkok, 5 November 
 Patrick Bond keynote address on African IT, to the International Development Informatics Association, 3 November 
 Patrick Bond debates GDP with SA government, Pretoria, 31 October 
 Patrick Bond debates GDP reform at University of Pretoria, 28 October 
 China Ngubane and Patrick Bond at UKZN Geography workshop on community politics, 24 October 
 CCS hosts CT Social Justice Coalition training on sanitation advocacy, 22 October 
 CCS hosts Greenpeace film on climate and Arctic oil, Black Ice, 14 October 
 Diana Buttu CCS Seminar: The situation in Palestine, 8 October 
 Mithika Mwenda lecture on climate justice at Climate Change and Development Conference, Morocco, 7 October 
 Stefan Cramer CCS Seminar on Karoo fracking, 7 October 
 Omar Shaukat CCS Seminar: Thinking through ISIS, 1 October 
 Patrick Bond lecture on SA social policy at University of Burgundy, Dijon, 25 September 
 Patrick Bond debates Mark Weisbrot on BRICS at IPS, Washington, 23 September 
 Mithika Mwenda and Patrick Bond talk on climate justice, Converge for Climate at Graffiti Church, New York City, 20 September 
 Awethu! network meets at CCS, 20 September 
 Patrick Bond lecture on South Africa at City University of New York, 18 September 
 John Saul and Patrick Bond launch books at Cape Town Open Book Fair, 17 September 
 Gcina Makoba update on recyclables project in Inanda, 15 September 
 The UKZN Centre for Civil Society and Palestine Solidarity Forum host a Gaza Documentary Screening, 11 September  
 Patrick Bond debates the causes and implications of Marikana at the Durban Democracy and Development Programme, 10 September 
 Mnikeni Phakathi & Asha Moodley CCS Seminar (with the Right to Know Campaign): Student Protest at UKZN 2014, 5 September 
 Patrick Bond debates climate and energy at Univ of Leipzig 'Degrowth' conference, Germany, 5 September 
 Gcina Makoba & Patrick Bond Durban water and sanitation policies, projects and politics, 1 September 
 Patrick Bond input on BRICS at Centre for Conflict Resolution seminar, Pretoria, 31 August 
 Patrick Bond on Resource Curses and antidotes, at Institute for Social and Economic Studies, Maputo, 28 August 
 China Ngubane & Sizwe Shiba Southern African people's solidarity dynamics, 28 August 
 Patrick Bond lecture on South Durban strategy, Gyeongsang National University, South Korea, 22 August 
 Patrick Bond lecture on SA political economy at Chinese Academy of Marxism, Beijing, 20 August 
 Mithika Mwenda CCS Seminar: Climate change and global policy battles, 15 August 
 Niall Reddy CCS Seminar: BRICS after Fortaleza, 14 August 
 Ilan Pappé Dennis Brutus Memorial Lecture: Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestine, 5 August 
 UKZN CCS Masters Student Mithika Mwenda testifies on Climate Justice on Our Common Planet, Howard University, Washington, DC, USA, 4 August 
 Loraine Dongo & Patrick Bond CCS Seminar: Climate, oil and activism in South Africa, 31 July  
 Patrick Bond debates Intensive Energy User Group's Shaun Nel on energy, SAfm, 23 July 
 Patrick Bond debates SACP's Alex Mashilo on SA politics, SA Democratic Teachers Union KZN Province, Durban, 24 July 
 Susan Spronk Contesting Water Privatisation through an Efficiency Narrative, 23 July 
 Matt Meyer The State of the Art in Non-violent Civil Disobedience, 22 July 
 Patrick Bond discusses infrastructure finance, Fortaleza, 15 July 
 CCS-Brazilian collaboration at the 2014 BRICS Summit, 14-16 July in Fortaleza 
 Patrick Bond debates JP Landman on SA poli econ, Ike's Books, 9 July 
 Bhekinkosi Moyo CCS Seminar: Southern African civil society, 7 July 
 Jack Dyer CCS Seminar: The economic consequences of Durban's port expansion, 25 June 2014 
 Patrick Bond lecture on SA macroeconomic conditions, at UKZN SA Research Chair initiative workshop, 20 June 
 Patrick Bond debates SA soccer leader Danny Jordaan on the World Cup's legacy, BBC radio, 18 June 
 John Devenish CCS Seminar: Protests in India, South Africa & Brazil The issues participants & tactics, 17 June 2014 
 Patrick Bond debates the SA economy with MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, UKZN Business School, 11 June 
 Patrick Bond debates sustainability at Governance Innovation conference, University of Pretoria, 5 June 
 CCS hosts mineworker solidarity event, 31 May 
 Patrick Bond lecture on South African water commodification, University of London, 30 May 
 Patrick Bond debates 'Africa Rising (or Uprising?)' in Maputo at Frelimo Political School, 29 May 2014 
 Patrick Bond speaks on global finance at the World Association for Political Economy, Hanoi, 24 May 
 Shauna Mottiar presents at 'Contentious Politics' seminar, University of Johannesburg, 22 May 
 Patrick Bond & China Ngubane CCS Seminar: BRICS from above, the middle and below: which directions for alliances and conflicts? 16 May 
 Patrick Bond debates BRICS civil society, SA Institute of International Affairs, Johannesburg, 13 May 
 Patrick Bond presentation on climate justice governance via skype to Linkoping University, Sweden, 8 May 
 Gcina Makoba and Thuli Hlela host Miners Shot Down in Durban townships, 1 May 
 Admos Chimhowu CCS Seminar: Food Sovereignty Discourses, Land and Labour in Southern Africa, 30 April 
 Patrick Bond presents on BRICS geopolitics and BRICS banking, Rio de Janeiro, 28-29 April 
 Shauna Mottiar delivers paper on popular protest in South Africa, Oxford University, 26 April 
 Floyd Shivambu, Innocent Ndiki, Louise Colvin and Patrick Bond CCS Workshop: Which critiques of post-Apartheid malgovernance - and which counter strategies - come next?, 25 April 
 Bram Buscher CCS Seminar: ‘I Nature’: Web 2.0, Social Media and the Political Economy of Conservation, 25 April 
 Patrick Bond discusses DeSutcliffisation at Durban University of Technology Urban Futures Centre, 24 April 
 Patrick Bond talk on SA@20 in New York, 19 April 
 Patrick Bond keynote lecture on climate, health and risk, University of Washington, Seattle, 17 April 
 Ken Walibora Waliaula CCS Seminar: Remembering and Disremembering Africa, 16 April 
 Ben Turok School of Social Sciences & CCS Seminar: With my head above the parapet: An insider account of the ANC in power, 15 April 
 Thando Manzi CCS Seminar: Brazilian civil society contests the World Cup, economic injustice and BRICS, 10 April 
 Patrick Bond gives three talks at the Association of American Geographers, Tampa, 10 April 
 Patrick Bond on comparative solidarity with Palestine and South Africa, Johns Hopkins University, 7 April 
 Patrick Bond paper on Climate Change, Debt and Justice in Africa at University of North Carolina conference, 5 April 
 Zackie Achmat, Thando Manzi, Paul Routledge Dennis Brutus Memorial Debate: The state of our social movements, from SA to BRICS to the world 31 March  
 Paul Routledge CCS/Development Studies seminar on politics of climate change, 31 March 
 Zackie Achmat and Ndifuma Ukwazi offer activist Autumn School, 31 March - 2 April 
 Prince Mashele CCS Seminar: The fall of the ANC, 28 March 
 Patrick Bond seminar on a Redistributive Eco-Debt Payment system, University of Lund, 28 March 
 Waldemar Diener CCS Seminar: Identity formation amongst immigrant traditional healers, 27 March  
 Charles Mangongera & Toendepi Shonhe CCS Seminar: Who rules Zimbabwe - and what should civil society do now? , 25 March 
 Patrick Bond and Xolani Dube debate 20 years of liberation (plus booklaunch), Time of the Writer festival, 20 March 
 Lukhona Mnguni, Molaudi Sekake & Lesiba Seshoka (invited)CCS Seminar: UKZN student woes and freedom of expression, 20 March  
 Patrick Bond responds to Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim foreign policy presentation, 19 March 
 Vanessa Burger and Faith kaManzi support Durban harbour mobilisation, Dalton Hostel, 16 March 
 Israeli Apartheid Week talk by Miko Peled, CCS co-sponsorship with Palestine Solidarity movement, 14 March 
 Peter McKenzie CCS Seminar: Cato Manor Between hope and Possibility, 13 March 
 Patrick Bond testimony on water politics at SA Human Rights Commission, 11 March 
 Patrick Bond lecture at Rosa Luxemburg centenary of Accumulation of Capital, Berlin, 9 March 
 Patrick Bond seminar on SA's Resource Curse, Harare, 28 February 
 Sreeram Chaulia CCS Seminar on Brazil-Russia-India-China-SA, 25 February 
 Patrick Bond seminar on 'tokenistic' social policy at UKZN Development Studies, 19 February 
 China Ngubane addresses conference on Community Serving Humanity, UKZN, 12 February 
 Patrick Bond addresses PanAfrican Climate Justice Alliance challenges, Dakar, 10 February 
 Vishwas Satgar runs workshop on the United Front approach, 30 January 
 Patrick Bond addresses Numsa shopstewards on economic crises, Johannesburg, 25 January 
 Patrick Bond testifies to Parliament against mega-projects, 16 January 
 Shauna Mottiar Protest and participation in Cato Manor, Merebank and Wentworth, 15 January  
 Patrick Bond lecture on development and political economy and method, Birzeit University, Ramallah, Palestine, 6 January 
 Events Index 2013 
 China Ngubane and Patrick Bond speak at the People's Dialogue BRICS strategy session, Johannesburg, 10-12 December 
 Thando Manzi and Patrick Bond discuss Durban slum research at the Institute of International Affairs, Oslo, 10 December 
 Patrick Bond, Farai Maguwu and Khadija Sharife testify to African Union commission against corruption, Arusha, 7 December 
 Mithika Mwenda CCS Seminar: Report-back from Warsaw climate summit, 6 December 
 Patrick Bond debates natural capital and GDP at Wits University, Johannesburg, 5 December 
 CCS hosts Democracy from Below citizenship movement 30 November - 1 December 
 Giuliano Martinello CCS Seminar: Dispossession and resistance to SA agribusiness in the new scramble for Southern and Eastern African land, 28 November  
 Patrick Bond at South Durban BRICS-from-below campaign against port-petrochemical expansion, Wentworth, 27 November 
 Film Screenings: Non-Violence as a Strategy for Social Change: CCS Seminar room, 19 September, 17 October, 21 November 
 Patrick Bond debates climate and capitalism at COP19 in Warsaw, 17 November 
 CCS participates in South Durban People's Climate Camp, 14-17 November 
 Patrick Bond lectures on global finance in Brussels, 13-15 November 
 Patrick Bond presents on Commoning, Rights and Praxis at Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, Berlin, 8 November 
 Patrick Bond public lecture on the New Africa Scramble in Berlin, 7 November 
 Patrick Bond CCS Seminar: Financial crises and social resistance, from household to global scales, 6 November 
 Gcina Makoba & Muna Lakhani CCS Seminar: Mapping Waste From Cradle to Grave: the Inkanyezi Commu