Political Economy of Post-apartheid South Africa. Vusi Gumede. CODESRIA, Dakar, 2015, 252 p., ISBN 978-2-86978-704-9Number of visits: 482457
The book, made up of three parts, covers a wide spectrum of political economy issues on post-apartheid South Africa. Although the text is mainly descriptive, to explain various areas of the political economy of post-apartheid South Africa, the first and the last parts provide illuminating insights on the kind of society that is emerging during the twenty-one years of democracy in the country. The book discusses important aspects of the political history of apartheid South Africa and the evolution of post-apartheid society, including an important recap of the history of southern Africa before colonialism. The text is a comprehensive description of numerous political economy phenomena since South Africa gained its political independence and covers some important themes that have not been discussed in detail in other publications on post-apartheid South Africa. The book also updates earlier work of the author on policy and law making, land and agriculture, education and training as well as on poverty and inequality in post-apartheid South Africa thereby providing a wide-ranging overview of the socio-economic development approaches followed by the successive post-apartheid administrations. Interestingly, three chapters focus on various aspects of the post-apartheid South African economy: economic policies, economic empowerment and industrial development. Through the lens of the notion of democratic developmental state and taking apartheid colonialism as a point of departure, the book suggests that, so far, post-apartheid South Africa has mixed socio-economic progress. The author’s extensive experience in the South African government ensures that the book has policy relevance while it is also theoretically sound. The text is useful for anyone who wants to understand the totality of the policies and legislation as well as the political economy interventions pursued since 1994 by the South African Government.
Vusi Gumede is a professor at the University of South Africa and Director of the Thabo Mbeki African Leadership Institute. Previously, he was an associate professor at the University of Johannesburg and also lectured public policy at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa. He worked for the South African government in various capacities for about 12 years, of which 8 years were in the Policy Coordination and Advisory Services in the Office of former President Thabo Mbeki. Before that, he was a researcher at the National Institute for Economic Policy – he also taught economics at the erstwhile University of Durban-Westville where he obtained his Masters of Commerce in Economics. He is affiliated with numerous institutions as board member, editorial board member, research fellow etc. He has also been, among other fellowships, a Distinguished Africanist Scholar with the Institute for African Development at Cornell University and a Yale World Fellow with Yale University. He holds postgraduate qualifications in economics and policy studies, including a PhD in economics. He is the editor of the series for the African Unity for Renaissance Conference and he has been guest editor of special issues of Africa Development and Africa Insight as well as author of numerous journal articles, book chapters, research reports and essays. His forthcoming book on South Africa is: Post-Apartheid South Africa: Economic and Social Inclusion (Cambria Press).