Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Rural poverty in the Eastern Cape Province: Legacy of apartheid or consequence of contemporary segregationism?

Ashley Westaway, Development South Africa, 2012

Poverty in South Africa in general has not declined since 1994, and it is particularly severe in the former Bantustans. This paper discusses two important issues related to rural poverty in the Eastern Cape Province. It questions the applicability of the notion of legacy to explain recent trends in rural poverty and constructs an argument that explains these trends in relation to post-1994 segregationism. It argues that the notion of legacy is not useful in explaining why rural poverty remains entrenched, long after 1994. Rural poverty today cannot be explained as something left behind after the end of apartheid, because its causes and drivers are the same now in 2012 as they were in 1970. The continuity between the pre- and post-1994 periods is best described by exploring and understanding post-1994 policy decisions and power configurations as an expression of contemporary segregationism.

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