December 13, 2013

The Threat to Mandela's Economic Legacy

Mike Cohen, Bloomberg Businessweek

AP Photo

Nelson Mandela, who died on Dec. 5, emerged from 27 years in prison in 1990 pledging to seize South Africa’s mines and banks. Instead, his government slashed spending and courted foreign investors, paving the way for the longest period of growth in the country’s history. “Only a Mandela could have realigned the African National Congress’s economic policy from the mindset of the 1950s to the world of the 1990s and beyond,” says Robert Schrire, a politics professor at the University of Cape Town. “He recognized that for the poor to prosper, the rich had to feel they had a future in the country.”

Yet Mandela’s legacy of economic stability is coming under attack as the country struggles.

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TAGGED: Nelson Mandela, Nationalization, South Africa

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