South African Informational Development and Human Development: Rights vs. Capabilities

Chapter 6, Reconceptualizing Development in the Global Information Age. Edited by Manuel Castells & Pekka Himanen.

By Nico Cloete and Alison Gillwald

Restoring dignity

This chapter will analyze information and human development in South Africa. In the case of informational development, the structural basis for this growth in many countries has been the expansion of a highly dynamic, knowledge-producing, technologically advanced sector that is connected to other similar sectors in a global network while excluding a significant segment of its own economy and population (Castells and Cloete 2011). This is the case in South Africa. In relation to human development, South African apartheid was on one hand about inequality, in terms of access to and participation in the economy. But, on the other hand, exclusion under apartheid was also about discriminatory laws that affected the legal rights of black people. Before elaborating on economic disparities and inequalities, with ICT and higher education as particular lenses, we wish to start with the struggle for rights. Human rights formed not only the scaffolding for economic exclusion, but affected something equally fundamental: dignity.

See South African case by Nico Cloete and Alison Gillwald in Reconceptualising Development in the Global Information Age, edited by Manuel Castells and Pekka Himanen, just released by Oxford University Press.