Change of Pace
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After winning South Africa¿s first democratic election in April 1994, the African National Congress did not follow a populist policy of nationalizing mines and banks, increasing taxation and spending heavily on the poor. Instead, it followed a more restrained economic policy, which was in many ways an extension of the reforms tentatively initiated by the previous government. After nearly a decade, the country¿s economic performance has not yet lived up to the expectations raised in this process. It is not only an underperforming economy, but concerns about resulting lack of progress in the social sphere are being expressed. Is South Africa¿s economic performance that bad, or do the initiated reforms promise greater success in the future?
In this book, Bruggemans examines the structural dimensions of South Africa¿s economy, showing that a great deal of reform has already been achieved that can be expected to bear fruit in the furture. He argues that the next growth phase should outperform any other period in our modern epoch, measured in per capita growth, the general upliftment of the broader population and its general sense of well-being. The impact of this should put South Africa back on the road to strong economic performance, which will ultimately underpin the social changes that are required for the political viability of its society.
Cees Bruggemans is an economist, First National Bank, South Africa.
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