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Running out of Road: South Africa's Public Finances and What is to be Done - Background Report

The most striking facts about the trajectory of SA’s economy since the global financial crisis are the low rate of economic growth and the vast increase in the pile of public debt. These phenomena are linked in two ways. If economic growth had bee…

Ten Million and Rising: What it would Take to Address South Africa's Jobs Bloodbath

South Africa’s unemployment crisis is the consequence of decades of inadequate growth coupled with some of the effects of globalisation, technological change and bad policy choices. There are limits to the pace at which this can be rolled back, so r…

COVID-19: Are We Asking the Right Questions about the Nature of the Economic Recovery?

No-one knows what the long-term economic effects of the Covid-19 epidemic will be. The massive disruption attendant on a global lockdown has thrown supply chains into turmoil, pushed tens of millions of the workers into (at least) temporary unemploy…

COVID-19: Are We Asking the Right Questions about ...Youth Unemployment?

Policy reform in the post-Covid-19 world will be vital. Although there is a need to focus on immediate remedies, we also need to be simultaneously thinking about strategies to promote an economic recovery. In so doing, we will have to find ways to e…

COVID-19: Are We Asking the Right Questions about ... Small Businesses and their Struggle for Survival?

Ann Bernstein said that the challenges small businesses face during this crisis are complex and vital to overcome for South Africa’s future. SA does not really know how many SMMEs there are in the country, nor is there agreement about how we should …

COVID-19: How are South African Companies Responding to the Crisis?

The Covid-19 crisis has resulted in a new and very complex situation around the world. CDE wanted to find out how some of our biggest companies in different industries and sectors, facing diverse challenges and opportunities, are dealing with the si…

COVID-19: Are We Asking the Right Questions about ... Unlocking the Economy?

Thinking hard about the right way to unlock the economy was the theme of CDE’s webinar. CDE executive director, Ann Bernstein, set out the challenges at the beginning of the discussion: “Nobody knows how best to deal with the complex set of issues a…

South Africa's Informal Sector in the Time of COVID-19

In the months to come, further data will emerge on the economic impacts of Covid-19. It is crucial that we gain as clear as possible a picture of how the informal sector has been affected by the pandemic. Policy responses will be required that start…

What if South Africa had a Special Economic Zone that was Actually Special?

The current report is intended is intended as a clear statement of what SEZs could offer South Africa in the country’s ongoing, but tragically delayed, quest to achieve faster employment growth. We make the case for SEZs again, because our argument …

What Role can Small and Micro Businesses Play in Achieving Inclusive Growth? Questions Requiring Answers

South Africa needs a more inclusive economic system, one where millions of excluded people can find jobs or space to start new firms. There is an important idea on the table that small and micro businesses could somehow be strengthened and linked mo…

Forging a "New Deal" for South Africa? The Contribution of Parliament's High Level Panel Report

South Africa urgently needs a new approach to deal with dangerously high poverty, unemployment and inequality levels. Policy and regulatory changes must be implemented to unleash faster levels of growth and much greater inclusion. The President of t…

A Short Note on the Looming Land Restitution Crisis

The land reform challenge in South Africa involves many issues: land restitution, intended to redress the loss of land by black communities and individuals since 1913; land redistribution by the state to black South Africans to change the skewed p…

Agriculture, Land Reform and Jobs: Can South Africa make this Work?

The focus of this new CDE report is on the agricultural sector’s ability to generate growth and jobs within the current political and economic context. In particular, the report focuses on the effect the current land reform debate has had on critica…

Creating Cities of Hope: Before you Vote, Ask Questions, Demand Answers

Although it is not true that every urban society is rich, no country that has ever become rich has done so without urbanising. Cities, with their dense populations, deep labour markets and highly differentiated economies, make human labour far mor…

Business and Development: Before you Vote, Ask Questions, Demand Answers

Faster growth, and the jobs it brings, should trump all other government priorities. Yet per capita GDP has actually fallen in three out of the four years since 2015. Without policy change, the economy will continue to stagnate, and South Africa’s…

Business, Growth and Inclusion: Tackling Youth Unemployment in Cities, Towns and Townships

In this research report, CDE focuses on the 20 municipal regions with the highest number of unemployed young people and considers possible solutions that will have a significant impact in these, sometimes very different, locations. Youth unemploy…

Radical Economic Transformation

In a series of short op-ed articles, Ann Bernstein examines what Radical Economic Transformation could mean for South Africa. It’s important to ask who will pay for the radical interpretation of RET. Any economic strategy that increases expropriatio…

Inclusive Economic Growth

In a series of op-eds in Business Day, Ann Bernstein has called for a new approach to making South Africa’s economy more inclusive. With ultra-high levels of unemployment, the current approach is to compensate people for their exclusion rather than …

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