HOW SOUTH AFRICA GOT OUT OF THE 80S GROWTH SLUMP: CAN IT DO SO AGAIN?
JP Landman, analyst
Friday 26 January 1.00 pm COURSE FEES R110; Staff and students R55
This lecturer will be introduced by well-known television presenter Ruda Landman.
From the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s South Africans became poorer; the economy stagnated; politics were deadlocked; social cohesion disintegrated to the point where the country found itself in a low-intensity civil war.
In the next twenty years, a dramatic turnaround occurred. Per capita incomes increased substantially; state finances improved almost beyond recognition; the social safety net and provision of basic services expanded dramatically; social cohesion improved; and the low-intensity civil war was replaced by peaceful constitutional settlement.
What changed? Democracy of course brought huge change. In tandem with that tectonic shift came another set of changes which though public, remain largely unrecognised, namely the fundamental economic changes which launched the turnaround.
In the 2020s, the country is in many ways back where we were in the 1980s (sans the low intensity civil war). This lecture explores the lessons of that previous turnaround and assesses whether a similar change is possible now.