Key Points:

  • The state of the social fabric – including issues like family structures, social mobility and inequality – is crucial for essential ‘soft’ growth factors like confidence, trust in the system, independence of thought and entrepreneurial qualities like innovation and risk-taking.
  • It was out of concern for these complements to the ‘hard’ policy-driven conditions for growth that the research agenda for “The Next Decade” took shape.
  • There is no ideal vantage point from which to take stock of South Africa’s progress since its transition to democracy, and the challenges facing it during its next phase of development.
  • Elections provide a five-yearly opportunity to do so, but in a context distorted by the anxieties of political contest, even in an electoral system as uncompetitive as our own.
  • Anniversaries such as the first ten years of democracy in 2004 will always be important for a democracy such as ours, which has its origins in foundation rather than evolution.

Press release: The next decade: Perspectives on South Africa’s growth and development.

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