From The Freedom Charter to Polokwane: The Evolution of ANC Economic Policy Author : Ben Turok MP

Publisher: New Agenda, South Africa

ISBN: 978-0-620-42565-0

About the Book

This book traces the economic debates in the ANC from the Freedom Charter, to Morogoro, to the RDP and to the present. It shows that the shift to macro-economic stabilisation in the transition to democracy in 1994 was due to international pressure and how it changed the trajectory of ANC policies.The government became frozen in the pursuit of cautious economic policies in the interests of fiscal prudence.The commitment to development lost momentum, compensated partially by the provision of modest social services and social grants.

The book traces the revolt against economic orthodoxy at the ANC Polokwane conference which was pressed forward at the Tripartite Economic Summit in 2008. The book analyses the economic challenges that will face the new government in 2009 with original insights into what should be done to address the economic crisis. It sets out a framework for alternative development programmes based on a change of mindset about the centrality of development planning in a pro-people developmental state.The analysis is based on 15 years work in parliament and in economic committees of the ANC which provided unequalled access to vast documentation and discussions with the top policy makers of the ANC and government.

The contents include extensive examination of the international conditions at the transition in 1994, the creation of the RDP, the switch to Gear, the distortions of BEE, the dual economy, the lessons from Africa and the reasons why the productive sectors of the economy have stalled. There is a postscript on the decisions of the Tripartite Economic Summit in which the proposed changes to government policies are assessed.

About the Author

Prof Ben Turok is a member of parliament in South Africa and visiting professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He is a veteran of the ANC, Editor of New Agenda, and founder of the Institute for African Alternatives in the UK and Africa. He has published many books on development economics and politics in Africa.



Ch 1 ANC Economic Policy in the Struggle Years

Ch 2 The Political Context of the Transition 1990-1994

Ch 3 The International Context of the Transition

Ch 4 Reconstruction and Development Programme

Ch 5 The Switch to Gear

Ch 6 Black Economic Empowerment (BEE)

Ch 7 The Dual Economy

Ch 8 The ANC and Africa

Ch 9 Stalled in Orthodoxy





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