Key Points:

  • The prospects for economic growth are determined by a wider range of influences than simply economic policy. If the key institutions of socialisation are dysfunctional, economic growth will be compromised.
  • South Africa is a highly unequal society. The second decade of democracy is beginning to develop a distinctive set of issues, and there are signs that discontent associated with inequality is forcing its way on to the political agenda.
  • Strengthening the social fabric is one of the most important challenges facing South Africa, and one that deserves a higher position on the growth agenda. The most obvious sign of strain in the social fabric is crime.
  • Without policies that encourage the growth of low-wage jobs for the unskilled unemployed and promote the more efficient use of public spending on education, inequality is unlikely to diminish.
  • The prospects for growth in South Africa over the next ten to 15 years are not particularly good. Present growth does not address the problem of poverty, nor does it redress the inequalities present in society. The challenge is therefore to find the formula that would lead to more inclusive growth.

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