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African Journal on Conflict Resolution

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Linking poverty and violence: The South African scenario

A Muller

Abstract


In present-day South Africa we are daily confronted with individual or group scenes of violence in townships and ‘shanty-towns’ where people live in poverty. Frequently, it involves people clamouring for the redemption of the promises made to them by politicians prior to the first democratic election in 1994 – promises of a wonderful ‘new South Africa’ that would meet their needs. In reality, their common experience is of a housing shortage, poor education, few jobs and very little prospect of alleviating their profound poverty. It seems as if in our country violence has become the power of the powerless.




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