Last week’s Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (Absip) conference provided a platform for delicate conversations about the fraying fabric of the social compact in the country. At the heart of the declining sense of cohesion and escalating sense of discontent is the yawning inequality conundrum. The conference — representing a meeting of the blue blood of black professionals in the financial services arena — provided a stark reminder of the scale of the actual manifestation of inequality. Hosted just a few minutes away from Alexandra township, the event was addressed by Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago and finance minister Tito Mboweni. In the governor’s address, the persistence of inequality and the rise of populism were central themes. For a country with the highest Gini coefficient in the world, the gap between citizens of means and the alliance of the disenfranchised is as wide as it is unsustainable. The disenfranchisement manifests in multiple di...

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