Vision or Vacuum? 2010 Transformation Audit

Editor: Jan Hofmeyr
ISBN: 978-1-920219-27-7



Although the global recession has come and gone, the world economy still finds itself in crisis at the end of 2010. As the United States returned to growth in the wake of a subprime crisis that also contaminated the rest of the global economy, the deepening sovereign debt crisis in the European Union, is likely to prolong the sluggish global recovery.

As a result, the South African economy has shed 1.1 million workers between the fourth quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2010. Up to the end of 2010 the trend has continued unabated. Compared to the more subdued impact on the labour markets of its peers, which experienced larger contractions in GDP growth, the extent of job losses should be of significant concern. It's impact stretches though stretches far beyond the labour market and affects the most vulnerable disproportionately.

The recession's impact has therefore, once again, reminded South Africans of the structural weaknesses in their economy that renders it highly vulnerable to temporal shocks. This certainly demands critical reflection on the current composition of the economy, its governance, and longer term capacity to create a more just and equitable society. The 2010 Transformation Audit theme, Vision or Vacuum?, therefore sets out to pose critical questions in this regard. While acknowledging the constraints that the prevailing global environment places on it, this edition does ask what the country can do to sustain its developmental achievement amidst crises.

The contributions to this edition look at this challenge from the perspectives of the Audit's four focal areas and provide insightful analysis, which is sure to enrich public debate on a longer term vision for the South African economy.