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futurefact finds: The race picture in 2016

(First published in The Media April 2016)

Race, as we all know, is a sensitive issue to deal with even in research terms – with some feeling it is a concept that should be relegated to the annals of the past, and others that it cannot be consigned to the dustbin as it is has huge relevance on a number of fronts, not least of which is the commercial space. An offshoot of this debate is that many feel there are several other variables that can be used in lieu of race as obviously the colour of skin is not the critical defining feature.

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futurefact finds: The different face of KZN

(Written for and first published in The Media)

 South Africa’s long-established Indian population lends a very different face and atmosphere to KZN. 840,000 of South Africa’s 1,2 million Indians live in KZN (and most of the rest in Gauteng). Indians count for around 2,3% of SA’s but almost 8% of the KZN population and there are almost twice as many Indians as whites in the province. KZN is, of course the home province of the Zulu nation but that could be the subject of another article!

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Is South Africa ready for a non-racial and non-ethnic-based leadership?

Trevor Manuel is (or was) one of the ANC’s best assets. Someone not tainted by the stench of corruption, someone with impeccable struggle credentials, someone not afraid to confront racist comments or difficult issues head-on. A politician that most people TRUST in a country where 85% say that politicians are only interested in themselves and in power. 

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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”.

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