herbert vilakazi colour-coding south african capitalism


Capitalism produced not only the advanced industrial societies of the West and Japan, but also colonialism and underdeveloped countries. South Africa is a by-product of this twin process. To know how poverty, unemployment and inequality can be eliminated requires not only a correct knowledge of how the problem arose, but also of the economic history of the world.

Regarding the historical roots of our problem, it is not enough to refer to apartheid. It is simply an Afrikaner term for a policy and process that existed before 1948.

The roots of our problem lie in colonial conquest. Colonialism gave rise not only to a colonial state, but to a colonial economy and ideology. Here is a peculiar phenomenon: the death of the colonial state is survived by the colonial economy and the colonial ideology. The colonial state died in South Africa, but is survived by the colonial economy. Our economy bears the scars and shape of a colonial economy.

The representatives of England settled here together with a population from other parts of Europe, hence the designation “settler-colonial society”. The European population in this colony became the largest in Africa, giving rise to a strong emotional bond between this settler community and the West, which is untouchable.


This gave rise to two grossly unequal parts of South African society. One is black, forming the vast majority of society, a large part of which is in pre-industrial rural areas. Africans became the primary labourers, and this vast sector is poor, with the worst facilities and infrastructure.

The other part is the white community, a tiny minority, which is by and large wealthy. It has the best facilities and industrial infrastructure and is linked with the industrial Western capitalist economy.

From Business Report.

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