The lack of adequate housing in the Western Cape and its impact on the environment: A theoretical analysis
The debate, about the role of the State, involves both normative and ethical judgements. Thus, what should the state do and not do? How can the desired ends be attained most efficiently? What distribution of income and services is socially just / desirable? Economic change must proceed apace with political dispensation. Democracy pre-supposes that conflicting needs and desires of the various groups in society can be fairly sorted out through enfranchisement and participation. This can only be judged as fair if its base (society) has shared values, which is only possible if society is not too divided by inequality in Income, Wealth and Opportunity. A precondition for success is an increase in per capita income i.e. economic growth. South Africa in many ways has Third World characteristics. This and its racially associated differences requires urgent attention. Apartheid has resulted in the nation foregoing several decades of potential economic and human development gains. Apartheid has resulted in a number of development issues reaching crucial / crisis levels ( Van Der Berg: 1991 :A): -Dualism resulting in85Yo of income inequality (O. Shima, 1962) -Income inequality, with a gini coefficient of 0.6. -Rural to urban unemployment, urban growth outstripped urban infrastructural and industrial development. -Squatter settlements resulting in the concentration of poverty, crime, dehumanization, etc. -Unemployment at a conservative estimate of 40%. Whites reinforced the initial inequality in technological endowment with customary discrimination and legislative measures which prevented equal access to social services and employment opportunities, hence the accumulation of wealth. The budget was one of the major forms of economic discrimination in South Africa. It is also the most effective instrument available for redistribution and restitution. The budget will have to bear a large part of the burden for ensuring a smooth transition to sustainable democracy. The dilemma in South Africa lies in reconciling democracy with a limited tax capacity. Large scale increases in social transfers seem premature in the light of large scale unemployment, underemployment, the lack of an institutional basis for such transfers, and most importantly, the resource constraints. The causes of the economic malaise are sufficiently numerous that only multi-dimensional strategies would be likely to succeed. Policies will have to be implemented over longer periods of time and will have to be guided and nurtured all the way through. The development process must be based on participatory processes and upon consensus by society at large. What we had in the past is what Jerry Eckert calls "...….unfettered capitalism placed in an un egalitarian setting....". As a result we are now faced with these development problems. Since apartheid entailed a redistribution from nonwhites to whites, the demise of apartheid should imply a redistribution from the rich to the poor, which in reality is from the whites to the non-whites. So, non-whites have a basis for redress.