Recession and Recovery

2009 Transformation Audit

Edited by Jan Hofmeyr
Pages: 152
Dimensions: 275 x 210 mm
Publisher: African Minds / IJR
Distributor: Blue Weaver
Date of publication: January 2009
ISBN: 978-1-920219-17-8



Recession and Recovery offers an assessment of the concrete impact that negative growth had in 2009 on the longer-term prospects for the creation of an equitable and just economic dispensation in South Africa. Successive editions of this publication have shown that the quest for economic transformation is a challenging one under the best of circumstances; the implications of a recession undoubtedly compound the magnitude of the task. Will South Africa sustain its transformational momentum in the economy in a context of shrinking government revenues, growing material insecurity and a substantial decline in employment levels? How will the new Zuma administration navigate its way through these troubled waters?

Although it is impossible to document in this volume the full impact of South Africa’s first economic contraction in 17 years, the selection of articles has been informed by a desire to single out those issues that could provide key pointers to the broader state of South Africa’s economic transformation in one of the most challenging years since democratisation. At the same time, this publication seeks to look beyond the major setbacks of the past years and to ask pertinent questions about the prospects for recovery and the challenges that the country will have to prepare itself for in this regard.

As in previous years, the Audit’s central objective remains to provide an uncompromising, authoritative annual analysis by the country’s leading analysts and emerging thinkers of the state of socio-economic transformation. As such, the insights contained in Recession and Recovery once again provide fresh perspectives on the publication’s four areas of emphasis: the macro-economy, the labour market, skills and education, and poverty and inequality. Together, the various contributions provide groundwork to inform the deeper debates that are required to map the road to greater prosperity for all South Africans.


Preface — Fanie du Toit
Introduction — Jan Hofmeyr

CHAPTER 1 Governance and the economy

  • Scorecard Economic performance
  • The impact of the global recession on the South African economy and the government’s response – Azar Jammine
  • BEE is dead! Long live BEE! – Lumkile Mondi
  • Reflections on building a sustainable social pact: Business, labour and the state under Jacob Zuma – Adam Habib

CHAPTER 2 The labour market

  • Scorecard Labour market performance
  • The South African labour market in the global financial crisis: Recovering lost gains – Dieter von Fintel and Rulof Burger
  • Draft Expanded Public Works Programme: A major role in reducing unemployment and poverty? – Anna McCord and Charles Meth
  • Political influence without organisational power: COSATU’S contested future – Sakhela Buhlungu

CHAPTER 3 Education and skills

  • Scorecard Education and skills development
  • Socio-economic status and educational achievement: Does education provide a stepping stone out of poverty in South Africa? – Stephen Taylor and Derek Yu
  • The National Benchmark Tests Project: Addressing student educational needs in the tertiary education system – Nan Yeld
  • From JIPSA to HRD-SA: Continuity and disjuncture in the development of a national human resource strategy –Renee Grawitzky

CHAPTER 4 Poverty and inequality

  • Scorecard: Income poverty and inequality
  • Scorecard: Access poverty
  • The persistence of high income inequality in South Africa: Some recent evidence – Ingrid Woolard, Murray Leibbrandt and Hayley McEwen
  • Poverty in South Africa: Government attempts to include the excluded in designing policies and programmes aimed at reducing poverty – Vusi Gumede
  • Rural livelihoods and market integration: Agrarian policy in South Africa – Andries du Toit