Book Review: South Africa in the Global Economy: Revised Edition

The Trade Union Research Project (TURP) renamed Centre for Industrial, Organisational and Labour Studies (IOLS) has just released a revised edition of "South Africa in the Global Economy". Written by Shafika Isaacs and the staff of TURP, the first edition was published in 1997.

A second and revised edition of the book (2002) by Jantjie Xaba has just been published and is now available through the IOLS.

The revised edition has 239 pages – 23 pages more than the 1st edition. So what can readers expect from the revised edition? Xaba points out that there have been a few changes:For starters, the revised edition has a foreword by Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane who says that the book “goes way beyond that of a useful guide for trade union education and training and for students of economics and social science.”

The archbishop offers his prayers for those in the labour movement. And prayer is just what the doctor ordered … Bless you Cosatu!

Apart from updates (statistics, figures and tables), the revised edition includes:

New information on multilateral trade agreements and NEPAD – Chapter 3 new information on the world’s leading Transnational Corporations, the environment and pollution (Durban Refinery as an example of industrial pollution) – Chapter 4 investment trends, privatisation (global and SA) and Africa Growth and Opportunity Act – Chapter 5 updates on international debt and international financial institutions (Chapter 6) a new section on the Argentinean Economic crisis – Why the crisis? – Chapter 7 updates in Chapter 8: income inequality – ranking SA with other developing countries in terms of household income, Human Development Index, Gender Development Index, child labour, SA & world unemployment and environmental issues at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (Kyoto Protocol) Challenging globalisation – response to globalisation – the role of social movements, “social clause” debate, alternatives to globalisation

The revised edition makes use of graphics, photographs, tables, chart and maps. Like the first edition, the book unpacks complex words (information boxes) and includes a summary of main points (what have we learnt?) at the end of each chapter.

Armed with the blessings of the archbishop, it’s time to get your copy of the economic bible and confront the Goliaths of capital. The book is available from the Centre for Industrial, Organisational and Labour Studies (IOLS), S157 Memorial Tower Building, University of Natal, Durban and sells for R89-00. A concession price (R70-00) is available for trade union members and students and discounts are given on bulk orders. For more details telephone IOLS on +27 31 2602438 or e-mail


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