Business Books

We interview the author of a book on how access to credit empowers and enslaves

Providing credit to black South Africans is seen as a vital part of financial inclusion. But it’s a double-edge sword; empowering some while disempowering others.

In “Money from Nothing: Indebtedness and Aspiration in South Africa” author Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics, exposes the diverse ways in which middle- and working-class South Africans’ access to credit is closely tied to identity, status and a desire to move into a higher socio-economic class.

James reveals the dark side of debt and how indebtedness is replacing old forms of disenfranchisement with new forms of oppression.

James does well to capture the lived experience of indebtedness of millions of people in developing nations who are striving to move up the social ladder or sustain their livelihoods.

Access to credit has allowed people to build homes, educate their children and start businesses. Many others, however, are drowning in debt while the banks are laughing all the way to the bank.

We interviewed James about her book.

Listen to the audio (scroll down) for more detail.

Many in South Africa feel that the only way to gain economic freedom is to get into debt. It’s a very complex problem.

Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics

I found as much evidence of frugality as of indebtedness in my research.

Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics

It’s difficult to say if micro-lending has done more harm than good.

Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics

Lenders must be held accountable for reckless lending.

Deborah James, Professor of Anthropology at the London School of Economics

This article first appeared on 702 : We interview the author of a book on how access to credit empowers and enslaves


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI

CapeTalk welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the CapeTalk community a safe and welcoming space for all.

CapeTalk reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

CapeTalk is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
Learn from Julius Malema and Chad le Clos (and others) how to be a better leader

Learn from Julius Malema and Chad le Clos (and others) how to be a better leader

We spoke to famed leadership coach Adriaan Groenewald about his book “Seamless Leadership” and how to become a great leader.

Change happens exponentially. We review a book on owning the future

Change happens exponentially. We review a book on owning the future

We review "Exponential Organizations", Salim Ismail's how-to book on dealing with exponential change and owning the future.

How to punch above your weight and turn your size into an unfair advantage

How to punch above your weight and turn your size into an unfair advantage

We talk to the author of a new business book that aims teach small business owners how to turn their size into an advantage.

Michael Jordaan reviews PayPal founder’s book on how to build a great business

Michael Jordaan reviews PayPal founder’s book on how to build a great business

The ex-FNB CEO reviews “Zero to One”, a book by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel on building a great business (and a better future).

How a group of geeks enabled the revolution that allows you to read this article

How a group of geeks enabled the revolution that allows you to read this article

We review Walter Isaacson’s (author of bestselling biography of Steve Jobs) new book on the history of our Digital Revolution.

How to transform your limitations into advantages (ie. how to do more with less)

How to transform your limitations into advantages (ie. how to do more with less)

Gateways Business Consultants MD Ian Mann reviews the inspiring, yet practical, “A Beautiful Constraint" by Adam Morgan.

Meet Ian Mann – ‘strategy midwife’ by day, business book reviewer at night

Meet Ian Mann – ‘strategy midwife’ by day, business book reviewer at night

Ian Mann is a regular business book reviewer on The Money Show and a business consultant with a 100 percent money back guarantee.

How to ensure the best possible retirement your money can buy

How to ensure the best possible retirement your money can buy

We talk to the author of “Retiremeant: Get The Most Meaning from Your Money”, a book on living the best possible life after work.

Popular articles
Home Affairs set to undergo an upgrade in move to paperless system

Home Affairs set to undergo an upgrade in move to paperless system

A new live capture system will cover birth, marriage and death registrations.

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

KFC South Africa’s Neymar mocking ad… so epic, Nando’s would be proud!

The South African ad is still trending around the world. Bruce Whitfield interviews branding and advertising expert Andy Rice.

[EXCLUSIVE] Willemse wants to restore his dignity at SAHRC hearing on walkout

[EXCLUSIVE] Willemse wants to restore his dignity at SAHRC hearing on walkout

Ex-Springbok and rugby analyst Ashwin Willemse speaks about the SuperSport saga, his Masters grad, overcoming adversity, and more.

SPCA responds to baboon shootings in Constantia Valley

SPCA responds to baboon shootings in Constantia Valley

The SPCA says it was not informed about a permit given to Constantia wine farms to hunt and shoot baboons.

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.