Centre for Development and Enterprise (CDE)

Library Articles

The Democratic Alternative from the South - India, Brazil, and South Africa

"In order to understand the new phenomenon of rapidly developing democracies, this project set out to examine the relationship, between political democracy, on the one hand, and inclusive economic growth on the other, in much greater detail than is usually possible. Based on workshops held in Delhi, Rio and Johannesburg; a dozen papers and three country reports commissioned from scholars in...

Cities of Hope Young People and Opportunity in South Africa’s Cities

"Historically, urbanisation has been linked with industrialisation, which has both facilitated cities’ growth and depended on it. Cities have also made possible the efficient delivery of all kinds of services — energy, water, health, education, finance, logistics, media, transport, etc. In the light of these considerations CDE launched a project framed around the question of whether South...

Raising South Africa's Speed Limit

In order to understand South Africa's poor economic performance since the end of Apartheid, this study focused on key features that set South African economy apart from many other, successful countries. The very low levels of labour participation in South Africa are a good place to start. Relatively few people are looking for work, and those who are, find it very difficult to make it into a...

Growth in a Time of Uncertainty Does South Africa Have a Growth Plan?

"South Africa desperately needs faster economic growth. The difficult global environment and the many unknowns involved in achieving higher growth in any country make this challenging. But it is not impossible and the international climate provides opportunities as well as threats. If the country is to grow more quickly, South Africa needs a realistic, workable strategy that has the support...

Why Africa needs its private sector

"A key question for anyone thinking about Africa relates to whether and how its economies will expand. For most of the last decade or so, the global context has been benign for Africa because of the rise in commodities prices and falling global prices for many manufactures. But now the commodity super cycle is over, the question is, what comes next? Only a decade ago, Africa was the least...

Job Destruction in the South African Clothing Industry How an Alliance of Organised Labour, the State and Some Firms is Undermining Labour-Intensive Growth

"Successive government plans emphasise the need for job creation in South Africa, yet industrial and labour market policies are biased against labour-intensive growth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the clothing industry, where employment has collapsed in the face of rising wage costs and intensifying international competition. South Africa’s most labour-intensive firms, which produce...

Inequality in South Africa and Brazil : Can we trust the numbers?

"Much academic and policy-related research over the past decade has focused on one of two stylised facts: Brazilian inequality has decreased sharply over the last 10 years and South Africa’s level of inequality has remained stubbornly high. Brazil has become less unequal than it was 15 years ago, while South Africa has not. But is Brazil more or less unequal than South Africa? To answer this...

Promoting School Choice for the Poor Practical Ideas from International Experience: A conversation among Experts

"CDE’s report generated great interest, both in government and the private sector. It confirmed that private schools in South Africa do not only serve the rich. Low-fee private schools are growing rapidly because they offer poor parents viable alternatives to poorly-performing state schools. Today low - and mid-fee schools dominate this sector. The challenge for policy makers is how to build...

Special Economic Zones: Lessons for South Africa from International Evidence and Local Experience

"Special economic zones are defined as specially-demarcated geographic areas in which some aspect of the business environment, whether the quality of the infrastructure or the regulatory regime, differs from the norms prevailing in the rest of the country. SEZs have been used as instruments for attracting foreign direct investment, alleviating large-scale unemployment, developing and...

Vocational Education in South Africa Strategies for Improvement

"This paper is based on research for CDE on the international experience of vocationally-oriented education relevant to South Africa. It summarises what needs to be done to strengthen vocationally-oriented education in South Africa, where school leavers are exposed to engineering, technological, electrical, building related, agricultural and other occupations, but need further post-school...

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