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 focus on more effective forms of inclusion, especially by making the policy changes needed to expand employment. Instead of seeing redistributive policies as the heart of inclusion, we should see wider participation in the economy as the key to a more inclusive society. Raising the rate of growth while simultaneously encouraging production to become more labour intensive is the only way to achieve this in South Africa. This requires urgent policy reforms to make it more attractive to create jobs for unskilled and poorly educated workers. In particular, we need to review labour market policies that prevent the creation of the kinds of jobs that have been the point of entry for millions of unskilled workers into modernising economies in the rest of the developing world.