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Asset Building and Asset Redistribution in South Africa

Slides for a discussion on assets and inequality in South Africa. The seminar was focused on title restoration and security of tenure. I took a broader view and argued that more than titling was needed to resolve questions of asset inequality in South Africa.

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Asset Building and Asset Redistribution in South Africa

  1. 1. Asset Building and Asset Redistribution Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen ZApreneur 20 September 2017 Workshop on Title Restoration, Tenure Security and Economy 20 September 2017, Birchwood Conference Centre, Department of Human Settlements
  2. 2. Source: IMF Working Paper WP/16/137
  3. 3. CENTRAL DISPUTES ON POLICY BETWEEN A.Policies premised on the existence of a inequality/poverty trap B.Policies premised on capacity of markets to improve incomes and assets of the poor over a period of time Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Poor Economics, 2011 TITLING AS A MAJOR POLICY OPTION
  4. 4. Answer 1 Just the market Household accumulation strategy Formal property
  5. 5. Answer 2 Once off Asset redistribution • Once off • Often linked to war • Often coercive • Four horsemen ala Scheidel • war, revolution, the collapse of states and natural disasters.
  6. 6. But never so simple • Taiwan and South Korea • Assets low in value • Redistribution in advance of industrialisation and growth • Irma Adelman • Social democracy • History of social democratic state • “Crumbling walls” – insecurity and mobilisation part of adapting the social democratic state • Things fall apart • Once off redistribution does not always work • Carries large challenges • Legitimate redistributive demands captured
  7. 7. Answer 3 Asset Building From A Household Perspective Household accumulation strategy Community works Child Savings Account Venture Capital Wider economic deconcentrating Formal property
  8. 8. Challenges • Coordination and access to state resources • Should social grants be the same? • Deconcentrating the economy • Small business • Titling a small part of an asset building strategy
  9. 9. Circa 2011
  10. 10. Financing of alternatives possible. (possibly within current resources)

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