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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:South Africa: revisiting capital's 'formative action'
Author:Bassett, CarolynISNI
Periodical:Review of African Political Economy
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:economic policy
Abstract:This article revisits Saul and Gelb's 1981 analysis of South African capital's 'formative action', employing their framework to assess how capital has shaped the economic framework since 1990. It shows that once prominent business leaders became committed to non-racial democracy, the private sector became enormously influential in shaping the economic programme.The policy changes permitted South African firms to restructure their operations largely on their own terms, becoming major investors elsewhere in Africa and around the world. Despite their ostensible success, the neoliberal framework they cultivated may lack durability, simply because the 'historical bloc' underpinning it is so narrow that the programme has not offered many benefits to the majority. Despite measures taken by the government since 2000 to broaden the political coalition supporting the neoliberal restructuring, the recent crisis over presidential succession reflects the failure to vest the economic changes in a hegemonic programme. Bibliogr., note. [Journal abstract]