The democracies of the developing South – India, Brazil and South Africa – all need to introduce bold reforms to achieve faster and more inclusive growth and ensure political stability.
All three democracies met pressing economic and political challenges in the late 1980’s and early 1990s with measures that included a greater role for the market.
The second wave of bold reforms needed for South Africa includes a deepening of democracy, transparency and accountability; further market liberalisation; a more competent, less corrupt state with a positive attitude to business; and a new approach to expanding opportunities for the poor.
The economic decline of India, Brazil and South Africa, caused by: the high costs of business, inflexible labour markets, declining manufacturing sectors and the poor quality schooling systems, can be salvaged by leveraging democracy to promote sustained development, higher economic growth and effective routes out of poverty.
By strengthening democracy, introducing bold reforms to achieve faster, more labour intensive growth, South Africa could become wealthier, stable and more inclusive.