Piketty unable to attend UCT dialogue but will livestream

30 September 2015 | Story by Newsroom
Thomas Piketty.
Thomas Piketty.

World renowned French economist, Professor Thomas Piketty, has not been able to fly to South Africa as planned but will instead deliver his talk on “Income, wealth and persistent inequality” via livestream, on screen in Jameson Hall at UCT, today, 30 September 2015, at 16h00. Because of the importance of this topic to South Africa we encourage all ticket holders to still come and be part of this discussion.

We are of course disappointed Professor Piketty will not be here in person, however we are confident the discussion today will contribute significantly to the national discussion on poverty and inequality.

Professor Piketty's presentation will be followed by a panel discussion involving Associate Professor Debbie Collier, who is deputy dean in the Faculty of Law at UCT; Professor Olajide Oloyede of the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the University of the Western Cape (UWC); and Kholekile Malindi, a lecturer in the Department of Economics at Stellenbosch University (SU).

This event is hosted at UCT with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and The Mandela Initiative, in partnership with the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, SU and UWC. It precedes the 13th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture, which is currently scheduled to be addressed by Professor Piketty on 3 October in Johannesburg.

This lecture is particularly important for South Africa, as the inequality gap continues to widen in the country. Professor Piketty's argument is that inequality rises when the rate of return to capital outstrips the rate of growth. This has been the case in parts of the developed world like the United States, where 1% own about one-third of all the wealth in the country, and in Europe, where about one-quarter own the same proportion. This phenomenon has extended to developing countries such as South Africa, where the gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen.

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