Although literature on the emerging middle (EMC) class is still nascent, the available literature on this group indicates that the EMC is growing and have benefitted from economic growth. This research study proposes that the EMC is unique from the established middle class. In the South African context, this group is affected by the burden of black tax, which has no empirical definition in academic literature. Furthermore, limited literature explicitly links the EMC with vulnerability. Guided by these statements, black tax and vulnerability are investigated to determine the link between these two concepts within the EMC context. Using exploratory qualitative research, 18 individuals that have experienced black tax in their lives were interviewed to gain insights on black tax and vulnerability in the context of the emerging middle class. The insights gained from the interviews provided the data that was thematically analysed and formed the basis of the findings of this study. The findings contributed to the research by revealing a definition of the phenomenon of black tax. Further, the research findings revealed that the EMC are vulnerable suffer from financial and emotional vulnerability due to the lack of choice and resources deficits that are related to being the benefactors of black tax. Thus supporting the argument that they are unlike the invulnerable established, Western middle class. All findings were integrated to produce a nascent framework of the understanding of black tax and vulnerability, which extends literature and provides an understanding of consumer in emerging markets.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2019.