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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Consolidating South African Democracy: The Political Arithmetic of Budgetary Redistribution
Author:Van der Berg, ServaasISNI
Year:1998
Periodical:African Affairs: The Journal of the Royal African Society
Volume:97
Issue:387
Period:April
Pages:251-264
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:public expenditure
economic inequality
Politics and Government
Economics and Trade
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/723266
Abstract:The topic of this article is the budgetary scope available for the new South African government to consolidate democracy by improving socioeconomic equity. After discussing South Africa's inheritance of a faltering economy, huge racial inequalities and pressure on fiscal resources, the author assesses the scope for redistribution through the budget. He argues that to maximize political impact, spending will probably be concentrated in the cities. The impact on black material living standards of complete redistribution of social spending is shown to be fairly large, but still may not satisfy the newly enfranchised. Coloureds, Indians, and poorer whites would lose most from budgetary redistribution. As demands exceed resources, resource allocation then becomes a question of political arithmetic. This may assist in consolidating democracy amongst the urban black 'insiders', but would effectively leave the unorganized rural poor fiscally disenfranchised. Notes, ref., sum.
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