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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 …

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, fina…

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…

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 …

Jobs for Young People Is a Wage Subsidy a Good Idea?

"The issues involved are complex, and sometimes quite technical. The workshop sought to address them as systematically as possible by addressing, first, the central importance of employment growth in shaping South Africa’s long-term developmental p…

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 …

Accelerating Growth in Tough Times

"The report identifies a contradiction between the lack of state capacity to support economic development and the government’s emphasis on state programmes and policies to address these constraints. The OECD also notes the ‘striking’ lack of policie…

South Africa's Door Knockers: Young people and unemployment in Metropolitan South Africa

"Principal among the carefully focused goals was that of surveying and assessing job creation ventures for young people in South Africa’s major metropolitan areas. As we have seen, this proved to be a far from simple task, and we found it difficult…

Why is South Africa failing to get the growth and jobs that it needs?

"In the first half of the Round Table, participants analysed a number of serious obstacles to growth and job creation. These included the causes of current low investor confidence; deeper-lying obstacles to growth in particular the difficulties asso…

The Struggle for Jobs: Evidence from the South African Young Persons Survey

"Entitled The South African Young Persons Survey (SAYPS), and conducted between July and November 2006, this ground-breaking study traced the histories of more than 1 000 young people – almost all of them African – between the ages of 20 and 35 …

The South African Skills Crisis A report from the corporate coalface

" The shortage of skilled people in South Africa is one of the most pressing issues on the agendas of both business and government. What are the realities of this situation in the day-to-day operations of companies? How do they cope? What do they …

Young Soweto Entrepreneurs: Organising for small business advocacy

"South Africa still lags behind its developing country peers in creating sustainable and employment-creating small businesses. What can we learn from others? A key lesson from successful and dynamic economies is the importance for small businesses o…

Encouraging Small Business: Is Government doing more harm than good?

"Many well intentioned efforts to provide support to Small and Medium Enterprises fail. It is important to understand the reasons for failure as well as unravel the reasons behind successful initiatives. What makes for a successful entrepreneur, can…

A Fresh Look at Unemployment: A conversation among experts

"Late in 2010, CDE convened a workshop of leading economists on South Africa’s persistent and extremely high levels of unemployment. What, we asked, is preventing us from creating more jobs? Given the large and diverse body of theoretical work and …

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 ...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 ... Poverty Reduction?

The Covid-19 pandemic and the measures we have taken to combat it are likely to leave all South Africans poorer for a long, long time. While we do not yet have the relevant data, some estimates of the number of jobs already lost run to well over a m…

Teachers in South Africa: Supply and Demand 2013-2025

One of the greatest challenges facing the South African education system is the production of sufficient competent teachers, who can provide quality teaching for all school subjects and phases. Whether South Africa is able to meet this critical ch…

Labour Market Reform is Needed for Inclusive Growth

South Africa’s unemployment problem is largely structural, in the sense that it is being driven by the decline of historically important employment sectors such as agriculture and mining. It is, however, being exacerbated by the country’s labour an…

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…

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