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Bridging the Gap Between Rich and Poor in South Africa

Conference 17–19 May 2000

The conference was organised by the Economics Desk: Justice and Peace Department of the Southern African Catholic Bishop’s Conference, together with the Bethlehem Social Academy and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation. The Justice and Peace Department believes it is important for local people to be involved with local government in the process of transformation, since this is their democratic right according to the national constitution. Economic literacy is therefore one of our main programmes, the aim of which is to help people play a more meaningful role in their communities.

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Table of Contents


Bishop Kevin Dowling, Chairperson, Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC), Justice and Peace Department

Welcoming Remarks

Dr. Michael Lange, Resident Representative, Konrad Adenauer Foundation – Johannesburg

Opening Remarks

Bishop Hubert Bucher, Bishop of Bethlehem Diocese, Free State

Income Inequality and Unemployment in South Africa: Facts, Causes and Perspectives

Prof. Charles Simkins, Department of Economics, University of Witwatersrand

Minimising the Gap Between Rich and Poor Through Democratic Local Development Finance

Prof. Patrick Bond, School of Public and Development Management, University of Witwatersrand

Globalisation: Facts, Problems, Prospects

Mr Elroy Paulus, Fair Share, School of Governance, University of the Western Cape

The Importance of a Basic Framework for a Sound – Effective and Social – Economic Order

Prof. Franz Josef Stegmann, Professor of Christian Social Teaching, Bethlehem Social Academy

Recommendations from the SACBC Pastoral Statement “Economic Justice in South Africa”

Bishop Kevin Dowling, Chairperson: SACBC Justice and Peace Department

The Biblical Jubilee Principle and the Relevance of Debt Cancellation for Redistribution

Rev. Peter-John Pearson, Director: SACBC Parliamentary Liaison Office

Women, Micro Job Creation and Self-Employment: The Experience of People's Dialogue

Ms Iris Namo, Director: People's Dialogue

The Effectiveness of Social Security Systems in Reducing Inequality

Prof. Hans Hemmer, World Economy and Social Ethics Study Group, German Catholic Bishops Conference


Economic Justice in South Africa: A Pastoral Statement


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