Economic Transformation Beyond 2010: Short-term Remedies and Long-term Strategies

"In the wake of the 2009 general elections, and in the midst of a global recession, a new political guard, representing the post-Polokwane power shift within the African National Congress, took the reins of government. The composition of the new Zuma administration, which has been more inclusive of the organisations comprising the tripartite alliance, also suggested the possibility of a more decisive change in emphasis from the economic policies of the Mbeki government. The architecture of the new administration also looked decidedly different, with the notable addition of Departments for Economic Development and Monitoring and Evaluation, as well the provision for a National Planning Commission (NPC). These entities, together with the Department of Trade and Industry, are being seen as pivotal to the structural transformation of the economy. Yet, they are new – the inaugural meeting of the NPC only took place in May this year – and inevitably a degree of uncertainty still exists about the exact role that each will play, and the weight that they will carry in terms of the shaping of economic policy. Against this, the conference aimed to clarify and outline the national vision and targets for economic transformation, but secondly also contextualise current interventions and recently announced national strategies within this context. It has done so by focusing on three thematic areas, namely: the governance of the economy, poverty and inequality, and skills and education."