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South Africa’s First Generation Middle Class

Even though we continue to be a very unequal society, South Africa has made considerable progress up to now in growing our middle class. This is contrary to trends in established societies like America where the middle class has been growing poorer and sliding backwards despite a degree of economic recovery. The middle class is a critical component of any economy. A large, stable middle class buys the goods and services that keep economies buoyant and fuel growth.

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BLACK IS BLACK AND WHITE IS WHITE... OR IS IT IN THE MIDDLE CLASS?

Two neighbours in the same middle-class suburb: one family black, the other white. A recent article by Leon Schreiber carried by Politicsweb suggests that even though these families would have a great deal in common in terms of lifestyle, interests and needs: “the odds are that racialised thinking would convince both families that they actually have very little in common. A black family might assume that the whites have more in common with rich white industrialists living on an exclusive estate, while the white family might assume that the blacks have more in common with impoverished black people living in a township on the outskirts of town”.