The Guilt Tax Guidelines For Individual Taxpayers – 2008 by Karen Press

Writer’s brief

What do white people owe?

“Apart from the hurt that it causes to those who suffered, the denial by so many white South Africans even that they benefited from apartheid is a crippling, self-inflicted blow to their capacity to enjoy and appropriate the fruits of change. But mercifully there have been glorious exceptions. All of us South Africans must know that reconciliation is a long haul and depends not on a commission for its achievement but on all of us making our contribution. It is a national project after all is said and done.” – The Truth & Reconciliation Commission

Far from fostering a sense of commitment to the ongoing process of transform, the TRC has become an excuse for white South Africa to erase any sense of obligation to black people for the loss of their land and their labour power -  from which whites gained incredibly. As such, most whites in the country continue to live privileged lives with no acknowledgment that their education, standard of living and economic wealth is a direct result of apartheid.

This situation has opened up a path for the Democratic Alliance, running under the slogan “Open Opportunity Society for All,” to become the country’s official political opposition.

Under these circumstance political arguments for reparations are useless. What’s needed are hard facts – the numbers.

We investigate  how much white people owe, using an average middle class 30-something white South African as a case study to calculate what is owed to Blacks by the current White capitalist class.

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