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Black empowerment, affirmative action and the racist economy: Have we failed, and if so, why?

When: Thursday, 29 October 2020 - Thursday, 29 October 2020
Where: Online Event
Start time:16:00


The Southern Centre for Inequality Studies will host this lecture.

India | USA | Malaysia| South Africa

South Africa has been a democracy with equality before the law for more than two decades, but its economy is marked by racialized inequality, to an extreme degree, in patterns of employment, labour market outcomes and the ownership of productive assets. Policy to transform the racial composition of the private ownership, corporate structures and managerial hierarchies have advanced under the banner of “Black economic empowerment”. Most agree that progress has been glacial. Systemic racism remains entrenched.

The emergence of the “black lives matter movement” in the US has put wind in the sails of efforts to overcome systemic racism. It has also underscored the centrality of action to address race-based economic exclusion to the transformation of society. South Africa, Malaysia, India and the United States have approached the struggle for racial and caste equity in different ways. There are lessons from their achievements and their setbacks that all can learn from. The webinar will explore these comparative experiences.

This event forms part of a SCIS review of black economic policy in South Africa undertaken with support of the Open Society Foundation (OSF).

Guest Speakers
  • Ashwini Deshpande is Professor of Economics and Founding Director of the Centre for Economic Data and Analysis (CEDA) at Ashoka University, India.
  • Darrick Hamilton is joint Professor of Economics and Urban Policy and Director of the doctoral program in public and urban policy, at The Milano School of International Affairs and The New School for Social Research at The New School in New York.
  • Hwok-Aun Lee (PhD) is a Senior Fellow at the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, Singapore.
  • Vuyo Jack CA(SA) is the executive chairman of the South African BEE rating agency, Empowerdex.

Dr Nomfundo Xenia Ngwenya, Visiting Research Fellow: Wits School of Governance| Southern Centre for Inequality Studies

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