The South African Economy: Coping with the Legacy of Apartheid

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Case Details:

Case Code : ECON018
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 1994-2007
Pub Date : 2007
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : -
Industry : -
Countries : South Africa

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Introduction Contd...

Despite some success in poverty alleviation, the fact that the economic disparity between the population groups was expected to persist for many years to come, led many analysts to blame the government's shift in policy as the reason behind the slow change.

Meanwhile, the government had been unable to contend with the growing menace of HIV/AIDS, with an estimated 5.5 million5 South Africans infected with the deadly virus.

The high crime rate was another issue that required immediate attention.

Background Note

According to archeologists, South Africa had been inhabited by humans for thousands of years. Farming communities began settling along what later came to be called Limpopo river as early as in the 2nd Century. The first records of Europeans reaching the shores of present day South Africa date back to the 15th Century.

In 1485, Batholemeu Dias, a Portuguese explorer who was trying to find a sea route to India, circumnavigated the South African cape. He named it Cabo do Boa Esperanca or Cape of Good Hope. The Dutch East India Company6 set up a provision station in Table Bay (Cape Town) for passing ships in 1652. Beginning in 1657, the company authorities alloted arable lands in the region around Cape Town (also referred to as Cape colony) to some of its employees who were freed from service to pursue farming. In this period, slaves were brought from Benin and Sulaweisi (Indonesia) to work on the farms. By the 1700s, the Dutch farmers (referred to as trekboers) began spreading to the interior regions of South Africa. As a result, the natives were ousted from their lands...

Excerpts >>

5] According to UNAIDS estimates (2005).

6] The Dutch East India Company (or Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) was established in 1602 as a trading concern. It is considered one of the first multinational corporations. It had trading outposts in Persia (now Iran), Siam (now Thailand), Canton (now in China), Formosa (now Taiwan), Malacca (now in Malaysia), Chinsura, Bengal (in India) and Southern India. It was formally dissolved in 1800.


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