Cape Town - South Africa needs to reimagine its economic-financial models if it wants to do anything about poverty and inequality, and social cohesion.
This is the view of Stellenbosch University School of Business lecturer Nthabiseng Moleko, who spoke at the third Annual Social Justice Summit on Tuesday.
The purpose of the summit is to reflect on the state of social justice in South Africa, focusing on economic equality.
It also looked at the impact of Covid-19 regulatory responses, the adequacy of current policy frameworks for rebuilding better, and restitution, as well as the impact of economic inequality on peace and the rule of law.
“South Africa's economy needs a sense of urgency. An alternative economic paradigm must be an urgent priority. We have got to use the appropriate monitoring frameworks to achieve socially just outcomes,” said Moleko.
Moleko highlighted the model used for mining and extracting mineral wealth, and said it had not produced socially just outcomes for the people of South Africa.
The summit is the brainchild of former public protector and social justice chair at Stellenbosch University, Thuli Madonsela.
Madonsela said the social justice and Covid-19 policy responses were patchy, and that responses to Covid-19-related GBV, including girl child abuse and mental health, had yet to be responded to.
“There was an admirably agile response to protect life, but a tardy response in protecting livelihoods for many, with those favoured by the regulatory impact being mostly big business.
“There was less agility in designing, and even more clumsiness in executing, the compensation strategy for those thrown off the economic boat by regulatory impact, particularly rural and township economies,” said Madonsela.
Meanwhile the summit announced its social justice champion of the year award had gone to Gift of the Givers founder Dr Imtiaz Sooliman.