New Agenda 76 is a special edition published as a tribute to our late former editor, Professor Ben Turok. It is being distributed free of charge to all friends, subscribers and supporters of the Institute for African Alternatives (IFAA) and contains tributes to Ben by former president Kgalema Motlanthe, long-time activist and academic Pallo Jordan and former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela. The way to pay homage to Ben as a leader of integrity is not by focusing on his life and person – Ben himself would not have accepted that -but rather to acknowledge the role and position he took in his years of political struggle. It includes articles on issues Ben cared strongly about.
His son Professor Ivan Turok, from the Human Sciences Research Council, argues for a role for informal backyarders in government housing policy as a more vibrant and viable option than the reactive and formulaic current policy. Nimrod Zalk, Industrial Development Policy and Strategy Advisor at the South African Department of Trade and Industry asks a question that Ben often raised: How can the orthodox economic policy that underpinned post-apartheid policy address what Ben called South Africa’s obscene levels of income and wealth inequality. Similarly, Professor Vishnu Padayachee with Dr Robbie Van Niekerk in their article draw on their latest book, which includes information from an extensive interview Ben gave them, on the dire impacts of the ANC’s decision to change from the Reconstruction and Development Programme to GEAR, which they argue had a devastating impact on the poor majority.
We hope you will consider subscribing to the journal.