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The Hidden Alternative

Co-operative Values, Past, Present and Future

image of The Hidden Alternative
In light of the recent global economic recession, this publication seeks to challenge the hegemony of the investor led business model in economics and business studies, and needs to be promoted in relation to these debates. The contributions to this book demonstrate that co-operation offers a real and much needed alternative for the organisation of human economic and social affairs, one that should establish its place at the forefront of public and academic discussion and policy making. It includes chapters on education, fair trade, politics and governance, planning, and sustainability and on how co-operatives have coped with the global economic crisis.

English

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Co-operatives and nation-building in post-apartheid South Africa: Contradictions and challenges

After nearly a century of struggling for a non-racial, democratic South Africa, in 1994 the African National Congress (ANC) became the first democratically elected government with the overwhelming majority of votes cast in its favour. The ANC-led government very quickly proclaimed a commitment to co-operative development through its Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). Since then the ‘co-operative’ idea and the ‘role of a co-operative movement’ in post-apartheid development have been articulated in numerous presidential State of the Nation addresses and mid-term reports to parliament. In 2005 a new Co-operatives Act was passed, having gone through five years of refinement with input from various actors such as government, the co-operative movement and independent support organisations. While the Act is an important step in post-apartheid co-operative development, co-operative policy has often been highly influenced by the neo-liberal macro-economic policy framework and discourse that the state has simultaneously pursued. More specifically, a neo-liberalised Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) policy framework and discourse, with a strong emphasis on market-led development, has appropriated the role of co-operatives in development and underpinned the ANC’s nation building emphasis.

English

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