Economic Growth, Poverty and Inequality in South Africa: The First Decade of Democracy

In 2005, government released its economic policy programme captured formally as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA) (The Presidency, 2005). ASGISA is distinguished, relative to its two predecessors, GEAR and the RDP, by its strong emphasis on defined, and very specific growth-enhancing projects. The delivery of physical infrastructure and a detailed programme for the provision of skills are just two examples of such interventions. It is important to note however, that in many senses, ASGISA is a continuation of the GEAR strategy. Having achieved the critical need for macroeconomic stability – arguably the core of GEAR – the emphasis has now shifted within ASGISA to a more detailed programme of activities designed to deliver the holy grail of 6% growth per annum.

Causes and Consequences of Income Inequality: A Global Perspective

Widening income inequality is the defining challenge of our time. In advanced economies, the gap between the rich and poor is at its highest level in decades. Inequality trends have been more mixed in emerging markets and developing countries (EMDCs), with some countries experiencing declining inequality, but pervasive inequities in access to education, health care, and finance remain. Not surprisingly then, the extent of inequality, its drivers, and what to do about it have become some of the most hotly debated issues by policymakers and researchers alike. Against this background, the objective of this paper is two-fold.

Education and Racial Inequality in Post Apartheid South Africa

One of the most far-reaching effects of Apartheid was the role it played in generating extreme economic inequality between race groups in South Africa. Not only does South Africa have among the highest levels of income inequality in the world, but this inequality is strongly racial in nature.As Figure 1 shows, the gap between white and black incomes just prior to the first democratic elections was substantial, with average real earnings of whites being more than five times that of blacks. Equally influential was the social engineering via race and language that occurred in the sphere of public education, with the introduction of the Bantu Education Act of 1954, which sought to prescribe differential access to education based on race.

Apartheid’s Enduring Legacy: Inequalities in Education

This paper provides an overview of the educational situation in South Africa a decade after the political transition, with the focus on its economic dimensions. This overview often draws on the author’s own previous work, with the empirical contribution con-fined to a production function analysis of educational outcomes.
An important question is whether changes since the transition have substantially ameliorated the role of race in education. As comparative inter-temporal data are scarce, this paper thus analyses recent educational outcomes to show that race, and the race-based former school systems, still remain the most pervasive determinants of educational outcomes.

South African Human Rights Commission Equality Report

Alongside human dignity and the advancement of human rights and freedoms, equality forms part of the very first founding provisions of South Africa as a constitutional democracy. It is listed in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (the Constitution), as part of the non-derogable rights, which prohibits the unfair discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ethnic or social origin, sex, religion or language. There are several conceptions of equality, the most important of which are broadly covered in the concepts of ‘formal equality’ and ‘substantive equality’. Formal equality refers to the basic idea that individuals in like situations should be treated alike. However, this overlooks the importance of context where there are individual differences.

A Framework for Transforming Gender Relations in South Africa

This document is for anyone who is working to transform and develop South Africa, but particularly for policy makers and trainers. It is the Commission on Gender Equality’s (CGE) first attempt to formulate a framework which the commission believes we need to be working within if we are to promote and protect gender equality, as the Constitution demands. Whether you are familiar with the theories and practices of gender equality or completely new to them, this document will be useful to you. If you are involved in funding, policy-making, training, research or on-the-ground projects, it will help you make sure that you take women’s particular needs into account and that women and men are equal beneficiaries of your work. This document aims to provide information and to get you thinking. The CGE hopes it will get you talking too.


Spotlight on Southern Africa Private Equity

Between 2007 – 14, there were 341 reported PE deals in Southern Africa totaling US$6.7bn. South Africa has the most mature and sophisticated market for PE in the region (and on the continent), accounting for 76% of the deal volume and 92% of the deal value in Southern Africa from 2007 – 2014. Annual deal volumes in the region have been trending downwards slightly since 2012, in part due to slower growth in South Africa and lower prices for commodities affecting the region. Overall, Southern Africa’s share of deal activity in Africa declined from 37% in 2007 – 2010 to 31% in 2011 – 2014. There were 127 PE exits in Southern Africa from 2007 – 2014. Sales to trade buyers – many to South African companies looking to expand their footprint within South Africa and across the region – accounted for a large proportion of exits

Barriers Educators Face in Involving Fathers in the Education of their Children at the Foundation Phase

This study investigated the barriers that educators faced in involving fathers in the academic development of their children in the foundation phase education in South Africa. The study adopted the qualitative case study approach and followed the interpretivist paradigm to investigate the participants in their natural setting. The sample size comprised six educators who were purposively selected to respond to semi-structured interview questions. All ethical procedures were observed and respondents completed the consent forms. Data collected was thematically analyzed. The findings revealed that lack of knowledge, absent father syndrome, migrant labor, educational poverty and political will were the main barriers to father involvement. The study concluded that effective fathers’ participation in the education of their children is necessary to achieving the goals of early childhood education. The study recommends that programs should be tailor-made to suite all categories of fathers in order to encourage father participation regardless of their economic status.

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Healthcare Reform Priorities for South Africa: Four Essays on the Financing, Delivery and User Acceptability of healthcare

Despite expenditure levels on healthcare comparable to those of its upper-middle-income country peers, South Africa is achieving health outcomes that are comparable to those of low-income countries.

This dissertation contains four essays on the financing, user acceptability and delivery of healthcare in South Africa. The main contribution of the dissertation is to determine how the user acceptability of healthcare services influences not only health seeking behaviour in South Africa, but also influences the ability of healthcare services to impact health outcomes. Without sufficient focus on user acceptability, the success of the health system will be undermined by creating missed opportunities for the prevention, detection and treatment of disease.

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For Sustainable Funding and Fees, the Undergraduate System in South Africa Must be Restructured

One of the most vocal criticisms against the South African higher education system at the postgraduate (doctoral) level has been the charge of a lack of transformation. The term ‘transformation’ has become so ideologised that it has little research or policy value. Perhaps one of the most inappropriate ways to use transformation is as a static concept; for example, to demand that universities must reflect, 20 years after apartheid, the demographics of the current population. What we should learn from this charge of a lack of transformation at postgraduate level is that bad policies have long-lasting consequences and cannot be redressed or wished away in a decade or two.

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