Economic Inclusion: A paradigm Shift from the Radical Economic Transformation (RET) in the Context of Growing Xenophobia in South Africa

Buhle Mpofu


This article analyses the experience of migration in the light of Radical Economic Transformation (RET) program of the SA government and argues that the program has been high jacked by nationalists who are now using transformation to side-line non South Africans in the socio-economic development programmes. Article contends that migrants contribute to regional, national, and global development through networks and (like anywhere in the world) are an integral part of the South African society, playing a “multifaceted role” in various capacities such as workers, business owners, community members/organisers and leaders of social justice and faith based movements. Given the volatility of the South African society, it suggested that use of a term such as “Economic Inclusion” could be less controversial than Radical Economic Transformation which breeds violence. In addition, it is suggested that while acknowledging that the extremes between poverty and wealth require a radical economic paradigm, political and public discourse should be sensitive to the volatility of the South African context and promote the inclusion of migrants in socio-economic development programs.

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