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In October 2014 the World Bank presented its “South Africa Economic Update No 6” concluding: ‘The fiscal system is already achieving a lot of redistribution, and there is little space left in the government’s purse to do more to alleviate poverty and inequality via fiscal policy.’ The report became a part of the ideological foundation of the 2016/17 budget, which fell short of protecting 16 million South Africans from real cuts in their social grants. Dick Forslund exposes the fundamental errors in the report....

On 25 March, the activist, researcher and writer Lila Chouli died less than a year after receiving the news that she had an incurable illness. Pascal Bianchini and Leo Zeilig write about the work and life of this committed and determined researcher, who spent years working on Burkina Faso and researching the country's history of resistance and revolutions....

From the days they spent together as students at UCLA, Ed Steinhart remembers his comrade and friend Martin Legassick. It was at UCLA that Martin established the first anti-apartheid organisation in Los Angeles, continued his extensive research on South African history and his work on political economy that marked him as a major thinker and leftist writer on the politics of Africa. This is a moving and personal account of friendship and political activism in early 1960s California. ...

In this challenging discussion of student movements and universities in Africa and India, Amrita Pande, Faisal Garba and Ruchi Chaturvedi ask how can university communities’ articulate forms of just belonging, which counters new hierarchies and old? How can we undo the legacies of colonialism and the inequalities of a growth-based model not in a way that simply overturns old hierarchies to place the ones on bottom on the top, but in a way that possibilities of such stratification are themselves displaced. ...

In this far-ranging analysis of recent events in South Africa, Elizabeth Cobbett argues that a ‘soft’ coup is effectively taking place. Cobbett argues that an ‘oligarchical coup’ is being carried out by wealthy families and senior ANC figures, with Zuma at the heart. The Gupta family’s power to replace key ministerial positions is a graphic example of the operation of this coup, as the wider ANC remain passive or, through Zuma, complicit. ...