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- The path towards renewal: An ethical, people-driven state
Occasional Paper 11/2022 Copyright © 2022 Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8010 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute. DISCLAIMER Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. NOVEMBER 2022 by Dr Klaus Kotzé BA Social Dynamics, BSocSci Honours Political Communication, Master in Global Studies, PhD Rhetoric Studies Abstract When the African National Congress meets for its National Elective Conference in December, it will have to resolve significant concerns beyond the election of a new leadership. In what could be a watershed event for a party facing existential challenges, the decisions on and details of its conference resolutions will prove to be fundamental to its future. Whereas it has previously committed to internal and operational renewal, the detail and direction of such renewal may prove to be critical to both the party and the country’s future. This article pursues understanding of what renewal has meant for the ruling party and what renewal should mean if it is to achieve its goal of building a capable, ethical and developmental state. It argues that it is critical for the next leadership to pursue an agenda that advances a people-driven state. True renewal would, therefore, be underscored by a positive power structure that enables all people to be actively involved in the development of the state. The building of a devolved, cooperative democracy and thus a departure from the statist, centralized power structure would signal a return to the consultative, collaborative approach the party employed with great fortitude and success when it first came to power. Introduction The African National Congress (ANC) will convene its 55th National Elective Conference (NEC) in December 2022. The NEC is the party’s highest decision-making body. At each NEC the party dissolves its leadership structures and through a broadly democratic process elects new representatives to reflect on the approach and achievements of the preceding administration. The conference then designs the party’s path forward. At its 54th NEC, the ANC resolved to address the various concerns facing the party, its role in the government and the state at large. Chief among its resolutions was that the party must be renewed. In its 2022 policy conference documents, captured in a special edition of Umrabulo, the party recognises that the shift from being a liberation movement to being in government has given rise to problems associated with the capacity and functionality of the state. These problems are associated with the self-enrichment by opportunists and the over-centralisation of social and economic control by the state, respectively. The policy conference documents call on the party to resolve its inward-looking, overly centralised focus (ANC, 2022). As redress, the policy documents advance the need for broad party renewal; for stricter vetting processes; that the ANC deal with its internal issues and that it repositions itself as an effective and trusted leader in society. For it to renew and deal with its concerns, it would be incumbent on the leadership to determine the required processes, structures and intended outcomes – determining what a renewed party and state would look like. And what role the party, state and citizenry would play. At the 54th NEC and again at the recent National Policy Conference (NPC), the party has resolved to urgently build a capable, ethical and developmental state. This can be read as its interpretation of renewal. With this target in mind, the appropriate and pragmatic policy is required to comprehensively catalyse the roles of the party, state and citizenry. Due to the sizeable task at hand, as well as the existing limitations, policy must create an enabling environment that stimulates active participation by all stakeholders. The ruling party, in its commitment to renew itself, must embrace pragmatism and through a comprehensive approach guide a social compact that will bring all hands on deck. By virtue of the ANC’s influence on the state and society at large, this article intends to contribute to the debate by discussing concerns and pathways toward renewal. Through assessing the ANC’s approach and strategy, the article seeks to draw causal perceptions and recommendations that will further the constitutional goals in general and the development of a capable and renewed state in particular. In order to plot and pursue these ends, we commence with a short discussion on the composition and function of the state. South Africa’s developmental state model The developmental state refers in general to significant state-led macro-economic planning and policy. The term was conceptualised by Chalmers Johnson, who defined the developmental state as one where the state shapes and drives economic development for the social wellbeing of the people. The role of the state is to “single-mindedly mobilise society to achieve industrial modernisation” (Gumede, 2009: 4). The developmental state has become a term synonymous with East Asian states such as Japan and South Korea, states that share a “major preoccupation to ensure sustained economic growth and development on the back of high rates of accumulation, industrialisation and structural change” (UNCTAD, 2007: 60). While East Asian nations have been synonymous with the developmental model, these states also traditionally have an overly authoritarian approach, a modality that is employed more as a matter of culture and practice than one which is universally most appropriate for development. Instead of necessarily being those that centralise political power, developmental states are those that guide and enable stakeholders to take up responsibility in, and share amongst themselves, the distributive ends of development. Developmental states are thus those that create and enable development. In successful developmental states, the state functions as an entrepreneurial agent that crowds in private investment and “rally business, labour and other social partners behind its efforts” (Gumede, 2009). Instead of following a defined course, successful developmental states select their pathways according to that which would ensure the goal of social economic improvement for the society at large. The ends of the developmental state, as socio-economic development of the citizenry, are more defined than its ways. The distinction between statist (centralised) and people-driven (distributed) developmental paths is a foremost strategic determination to be made by all countries undertaking such a path. In South Africa, due to incapacity, historical disparity and insufficient resources, together with a constitutional mandate for meaningful citizen participation, a statist approach is inappropriate and insufficient. While the public policies of the democratic government have and must continue to advance the ends of socio-economic justice, the case for an East Asian-type developmental state runs contrary to the democratic principles of the state, as well as those of the ANC. While some may suggest that ANC policy, as well as strategy and tactics, documents assert state-centric interventions, these documents must be read in response to local realities, as well as in recognising the various recent failures. Instead of serving the interests of the public, the state service has drifted to advance narrow personal and party-political ends. Nepotism and cronyism have been witnessed in far too many state institutions, doubtlessly brought to light by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector (Zondo Commission). The findings of the Commission do not only point to gross irregularities, such as the landing of a private jet belonging to the Gupta family at Waterfkloof Air Force, or to corrupt proceedings, such as siphoning off millions of rands at the Vrede Dairy Farm, in a projects-for-friends arrangement managed by senior government officials (News24, 2018). The exploitation of state resources by leaders and their acolytes is revealed to have been nothing less than procedural, a pathway of propping up the interests of individuals at the cost of the people. The Zondo Commission reports play a key role in discerning this reality. It effectively illustrates a number of examples, such as how the State Security Agency was central to state capture. Under President Zuma, the Agency was instrumentalised to serve him and not the people of the country. Covert and irregular operations such as ‘Mayibuye’ saw millions of rands allegedly being siphoned from the Agency to Zuma. It represents “a collection of operations designed to counter threats to state authority. In practice, they and others sought to shield Zuma from a growing chorus of criticism of his misrule. The commission found that the project destabilised opposition parties and benefit the Zuma faction in the ruling African National Congress” (Duncan, 2022). Throughout the other volumes of the Zondo Commission reports, the picture emerges clearly of a state service that was procedurally weakened so as to advance personal interests. The breakdown of Transnet, where Gupta allies were appointed to strategic positions, and the sustained damage brought by chairperson Dudu Myeni to the national carrier are but two examples. The politicization of state infrastructure extends well beyond those implicated in the Zondo reports. The appropriation of state resources by a politicized civil service is indicative of a national situation where the distinction between ANC and state has been obstructed and has become systematically blurred. It has emerged that the party is in charge of the civil service, too often serving itself and not empowering the people. The Zondo Commission reports have definitively shown that a statist developmental state does not and cannot work in present South Africa. So, which path should South Africa then follow? According to Gumede, “a successful developmental state involves getting the nature and relationship between different social institutions right, and managing conflicts within and between these, whether through social pacts or through national consensus” (Gumede, 2009). Gumede goes on to say that there are essential conditions for a successful developmental state. These include having a developmental vision, an efficient bureaucracy, an efficient coordinating centre to manage development and an integrated long-term developmental plan. It is compelling to note that each of these factors have been front-and-centre to the present administration. It has stressed the need for a capable state, it has bolstered the presidency as a coordinating centre, and it has the National Development Plan 2030 as its long-term vision. While these factors lie within the ambit of the government, Gumede mentions one more important condition which does not: “a developmental partnership between government, business, labour and civil society” (Gumede, 2009). It is through this partnership that the developmental state (in a democracy) achieves the appropriate relations between social partners. It is key to ascertain a national consensus that places the citizenry centrally, both in delivery and service execution. Accordingly, a South African developmental state cannot copy the authoritarian, undemocratic models applied in East Asia. Instead, a local developmental state must do the opposite. It must, through being people-driven, deepen democracy. Herein, it is imperative that the state must successfully persuade the citizenry, not only to buy into, but also to help create such a model. The example of China is useful. While the Chinese state is extremely hierarchical and rigid, it has a clear mandate for both the people and the government. The people must both buy into and help shape the party’s direction – the party being the expression and will of the people. This, while the government must, according to policy and practice, unceasingly open up and reform. “In most successful developmental states, the state and the private sector work out a constructive partnership, which involves trade-offs both ways, but with the ultimate goal of radically transforming the economy: lifting economic growth levels, reducing unemployment and poverty and making the country competitive vis-à-vis its competitors … at the heart of such social pacts must be an appearance of not only the burden of suffering, but also the benefits of economic growth, being equitably distributed across society” (Gumede, 2009). From these observations it becomes clear that a South African developmental state should not only empower the citizenry and be entrepreneurial, but it should also be people-driven. ANC policy and orientation Appropriate policy is that which deals best with the strategic environment that an entity finds itself in. In the case of the ANC, it is guided by several core documents, declarations, principles and values. The Freedom Charter of 1955 functions as such a document. It presents a set of core principles and is characterised by its founding statement, “the people shall govern” (SACA, 1955). It lays the foundation for the kind of state that should be sought. The Freedom Charter sets out a hugely ambitious and transformative programme whereby people working in democratic concert, achieve self-actualisation. The Freedom Charter served as South Africa’s lodestar to dispel the subjugation of colonialism and apartheid. As a united declaration of an undivided, sovereign people, the Freedom Charter informed the drafting of the new South African Constitution, finalised in 1996. In its preamble, the Constitution gives expression to the principles and goals of the Freedom Charter. Its preamble does not only declare, “we, the people of South Africa … believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity”, thereby overcoming separation or apartheid. The Constitution also takes forward the conviction that the people shall govern. It empowers and charges all people to actively participate in building a transformed country. Collaboratively, “we” must “heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values, social justice and human rights … and build a united and democratic South Africa” (RSA, 1996). Herein, the Constitution, much like the Freedom Charter, lays great significance on the participation of the citizenry in the practice of governance and statehood. A just government would not only have to be based on the will of the people, but the citizenry would also have to be consulted and cooperated with actively. To legitimately lead South Africa, the ruling party, in abiding by the constitutional principles and goals, would have to be people-centred in its orientation, while its administration would have to function in collaboration with the people, or be people-driven. People-centred state Through its various policy programmes, the ANC government has undertaken a people-centred approach. Its foundational Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) stressed that “no political democracy can survive and flourish if the mass of our people remain in poverty, without land, without tangible prospects for a better life. Attacking poverty and deprivation must therefore be the first priority of a democratic government” (RSA, 1994). To ensure a people-centred policy framework, the ANC government introduced the 1997 White Paper on Transforming Public Service Delivery. The White Paper sought to align the work of government to the constitutional principles under the guiding concept of Batho Pele (people first) (DPSA, 1997). Batho Pele and the RDP, while noble in their orientation, centred power inwards in the administration. It placed the country on the path to delivery dependency. The government placed a huge burden on itself to counteract the racialised delivery programme of the former regime. The White Paper sought to guide a government that did not have governing experience, never mind the capacity to overcome the biased system it inherited. The White Paper, in seeking to drive transformation, produced policy tools that would be government-driven and therefore susceptible to political influence. The party’s policy formulation meant that the maxim of “the people shall govern” became suffixed by: “through political representation”. Whereas Batho Pele comprised noble foundational principles, such as that service delivery should be guided by “value for money”, the party deployees often had too much sway in decision-making. In his foreword to the White Paper, former President Mandela stressed that: Batho Pele should entail “the relentless search for increased efficiency and the reduction of wastage within the Public Service” (DPSA,1997). Instead of formulating policy where the state works with the people, policy increasingly became cloistered under ANC control. While this approach started as cultivating a culture of service in the ANC-led government, centralising the force of power inward led to perverse personal aggrandisement. Instead of ensuring value for money, a culture developed where the politically connected overextended the power they held – serving the self vis-à-vis serving the people of the state. Not unique to South Africa, the power that the incumbent ANC afforded its deployees created cults of personality. The egalitarian people-first principle would be moot from the start when those charged with enactment were first serving themselves, as noted in the NPC discussion documents, mentioned above. The result: the people were first no more. The ideals of transformation became subverted in the distorted discharge of the state. Service had been rerouted from a progressive approach to one that served the connected and state employees, first. In 2020, government had spent more money paying its 1.3 million public servants than it did the 18 million South Africans receiving social grants (Mahlaka, 2022). The well-documented failures of service delivery illustrate the failure of translating principles into the corresponding action. While corruption, practiced in the name of Batho Pele, is central to the state failures, it is not the only problem. The statist, government-driven path has not achieved development and transformation. Instead, it has built a dependency on an overburdened state that has become increasingly corrupt and incapable. The distinction between a state that cares, one that offers free basic services, and an overly redistributive, welfare state has not been established in South Africa. The translation of pursuable strategies by leadership, for adoption by the public, is sorely needed. The present South African social welfare (dependency) policy is worth noting. In addition to its social grants programme, the number of informal settlement dwellers has been growing unabated since 2000. Among other welfare proposals, the NPC discussion documents suggest: “Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, about 4.8 million houses have been delivered in South Africa, providing safe shelter to over 25% of South Africa’s households ... Approximately 2.8 million households in South Africa do not have access to improved sanitation services. The ANC has resolved to eradicate the bucket system in order to improve sanitation services. By December 2020, a total of 41 290 out of 52 249 bucket sanitation systems were eradicated. Furthermore, a total of 14 235 rural households were served to eradicate sanitation backlogs” (ANC, 2022:100). The numerous social protection programmes supporting deserving households are valid and pursue the principles of both the national Constitution and ANC conference resolutions. However, given the limitations and failures of the state, South Africa cannot develop only through redistribution. There are real restraints to South Africa’s welfare state, not least the lack of resources. People-driven state The report of the 54th National Conference states that “the ANC’s approach to state power is informed by the Freedom Charter and the principle that ‘The People Shall Govern’” (ANC, 2017). The report continues to explain that the “attainment of power by the ANC is a means to fulfil the will of the people and ensure a better life for all” (ANC, 2017). This articulation continues the path of dependency of ANC power as the expression of people power. It assumes the same centralist (or statist) position as previous NEC reports. But this position is not the only one expressed by the party. In recent years, also at policy and elective conferences, the ANC has articulated new approaches for itself and the state. In 2012, the National Planning Commission, which sits in the Presidency, released the National Development Plan (NDP). The NDP was formulated to form a long-term perspective for South Africa. It offers a comprehensive plan to execute the mandate of the Constitution: to build a transformed state whereby poverty and inequality is eliminated. The NDP, therefore, presents an impression of and a path to state renewal. While it carries the official support of the ANC, as supported by NEC resolutions, its reformist approach to distributed, or people-driven, power has been widely rebuffed by ANC leaders, not least when it did not receive formal approval and endorsement at the National Policy Conference, in 2012 (Mogotsi, 2013). While there are various reasons to explain this disparity, the most important, according to this analysis, is the NDP’s push to reorganise power relations in South Africa towards being more people-driven. Principally, to devolve control away from the national government and create a developmental state where, through the active involvement of the citizenry, truly the people shall govern. The NDP stresses that “South Africa can realise its goals by drawing on the energies of its people … To accelerate progress, deepen democracy and build a more inclusive society, South Africa must translate political emancipation into economic wellbeing for all. It is up to all South Africans to fix the future, starting today” (NPC, 2012). In shifting focus to the extended capacity and capability of the citizenry (people-driven), it moves it away from the government (people-centred). The NDP is therefore not simply a plan for government, but a plan for the people of South Africa. It defines renewal and presents a whole-of-society approach. This is evident from the six interlinked priorities that are set out in the NDP: “Uniting all South Africans around a common programme to achieve prosperity and equity; Promoting active citizenry to strengthen development, democracy and accountability; Bringing about faster economic growth; higher investment and greater labour absorption; Focusing on key capabilities of people and the state; Building a capable and developmental state; Encouraging strong leadership throughout society to work together to solve problems” (NPC, 2012). The citizenry is clearly the decisive agent in each priority area. The plan indirectly acknowledges the limitations of government and strategically shifts power to a people-driven state. It provokes a whole-of-society approach, where each citizen is called upon to collaboratively build the renewed state. “Its success will depend on all South Africans taking responsibility for the plan, led by the President and Cabinet” (NPC, 2012). The NDP continues to make the bold statement that “an unintended outcome of government action has been to reduce the incentive for citizens to be direct participants in their development. To prevent this practice from being entrenched, the state must actively support and incentivise citizen engagement … Active citizenry and social activism is necessary for democracy and development to flourish. The state cannot merely act on behalf of the people – it has to act with the people, working together with other institutions to provide opportunities for the advancement of communities” (NPC, 2012). Government power centralisation and its failure to appropriately facilitate public involvement is a theme that arises in various areas of state affairs. As an example, the Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill was introduced in Parliament in 2011 and signed into law on 23 December 2015. The South African Veterinary Association approached the Constitutional Court, submitting that Parliament had failed in its constitutional duty to facilitate public participation in the law-making process. In its judgement, the Constitutional Court declared the Act unconstitutional. It held that Parliament did not undertake meaningful public consultation (Constitutional Court, 2018). This failure of an arm of the state is not a unique example. It instead points to a recurring theme that requires broader recourse. A further example of excessive statism is seen in the control exercised by the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. For years the Department resisted cooperative ventures and was reluctant to raise the embedded generation threshold. While the Department has since acquiesced to greater people-driven measures, the research group Meridian Economics shows that the current energy crisis could have been significantly averted had the Department not prevented the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer programme from being rolled out. The programme’s additional capacity “would have allowed Eskom to eliminate 96.5% of load shedding in 2021” (Comrie, 2022). Towards the 55th National Elective Conference The African National Congress held its NPC on 29-31 July 2022. In his foreword to the compendium of policy documents, ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa proposes that the “Discussion Documents outline the ANC’s strategic approach to policies and how it shapes and impacts our transformation agenda” (ANC, 2022: 3). The NPC and its policy discussion papers prepare the party for its December 2022 elective conference. It sets a path for the party’s next administration. The NPC and discussion documents do two things. They reflect on the decisions emerging from the 2017 elective conference, which gave the current administration its mandate. They then guide the party towards achieving its goals, while considering the strategic environment within which the party finds itself. The NPC and policy conference functions as a crucial transitional mechanism in guiding the party through successive administrations, seeking to enable adjustments that improve upon previous decisions, while maintaining momentum. As the ruling party, it is imperative both for the party and for the state, that the party undertakes a critical assessment of the path towards its goals, based on its strategic environment. The 2022 NPC took place in “the year of unity and renewal to defend and advance South Africa’s democratic gains” (ANC, 2022). This theme is meant to provoke reflection on the resolutions taken at the 54th National Conference, in 2017 – to guide the policy considerations, so as to advance its resolutions. The theme champions the first resolution of the 54th National Conference: organisational renewal. In order for the party to arrest its decline and renew, it “has to continually review its organisational state and capacities, and its relationship with the people and society” (ANC, 2017: 11). The report undertakes to recognise and address its shortcomings, which it describes as “a loss of confidence in the ANC because of social distance, corruption, nepotism, arrogance, elitism, factionalism, manipulating organisational processes, abusing state power, putting self-interest above the people” (ANC 2017: 13). It is only through a singular, renewed spirit that is awake to the realities of the land, that the party can continue to play a defining role in South Africa’s future. This theme presents a snapshot of the organisation’s larger condition. The party faces a decline in support that could lead to it losing an outright majority for the first time since 1994. The 54th National Conference report suggests that “organisational renewal therefore is an absolute and urgent priority, and we may go as far as to say, to the survival of our great movement” (ANC, 2017: 14). The report thereby charges the next administration with the priority of formulating approaches and policies that will give effect to organisational renewal. According to its president, the party must change its ways; “to counter these negative aspects, we have to intensify our efforts with the renewal process and revitalisation of ANC structures” (ANC, 2022: 3). The renewed function should restructure the party, away from the self-serving cronyism that it has become associated with. It must be reorientated towards serving the country at large. In Ramaphosa’s words: “Our focus has to be the improvement of the quality of lives of people, rather than an often narrow, internal party focus” (ANC, 2022: 4). In perceiving and directing both the NPC and the Elective Conference, the President, who is also seen as a forerunner for another term in the top job, paints a clear picture of the party’s strategic position and the approach needed to first retain electoral support and to govern effectively. It is only an ethical and capable state that can administer and deliver the services required to retain popular trust. Recommendation: Towards ethical renewal To ensure electoral trust and a further mandate to govern, the ANC needs to truly commit to ethical renewal. At the NPC, Ramaphosa – among other leaders, such as Minister of Co-operative Government and Traditional Affairs, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, herself a contender for the ANC’s top position – condemned the collapse of the ANC, not on ideological differences, but on the failures of ANC members. “There are not divisions about policies or ideology”, said the President, instead party issues are “driven by the competition for positions, the contestation of structures and the pursuit of access to public resources … These divisions manifest themselves in patronage, gatekeeping, vote buying and manipulation of organisations processes … We can see how our divisions have weakened governance in many areas, undermined public institutions and hampered the maintenance of infrastructure and the provision of services … This situation has contributed to declining levels of voter participation in elections and diminishing support for the ANC” (Ndaba & Sadike, 2012). Ramaphosa submits that the ANC’s failure is due to internal weakness. He charges that without shedding the yoke of corruption and greed, the party will lose power and its mandate to rule. This strategic assessment follows his extraordinary letter to ANC members on 23 August 2020 where he accused the ANC of being “accused number 1”. “Leadership positions are seen by some as the most direct route to, in the first instance, employment and, in the second instance, to influence in the award of tenders and the distribution of other government resources. The people see how organisational principles and structures are corrupted for personal gain … Our lack of discipline and failure to deal with the issues in our movement have eroded our organisational ethos and standing … we must have the political courage and the honesty to acknowledge that ANC leaders, public representatives and members have on numerous occasions been implicated in such forms of corruption” (Ramaphosa, 2020). While renewal has been widely pledged, details thereof have remained scarce. In concluding his letter, Ramaphosa distinguishes two sets of measures that “demonstrate clear political will”, are “unflinching in restoring the values, ethics and standing of our organisation”, and will help “win back people’s trust”. These, says Ramaphosa, are not his own views, but rather, it is the mandate received by the 54th National Conference. It represents an approach to critically providing meaning and operation to a renewed organisation. The first set deals with ANC members. It describes the measures to be undertaken to “implement without delay the resolutions of our 54th National Conference in dealing with corruption” (Ramaphosa, 2020). It is only by punishing offenders, by acting and being seen as acting to restore discipline, that the party can become ethical and have any chance of truly renewing itself. Recommendation: Towards a people-driven, capable state The second set enumerated in his letter pivots toward greater cooperative democracy. Ramaphosa calls for the mobilisation of “a ‘whole-of-society’ response against corruption and ANC members must support progressive organisations in their stand against corruption” (Ramaphosa, 2020). Rallying for such an approach performs an important leadership role. It determines upon aspirational concepts, describing the capable state to be one that is distributed and people-driven. It gives meaning to the complex set of concepts, while detailing what a preferable path will look like. Furthermore, it delineates signification and responsibility. This distinguishment, the engagement of civil society in the process of restoring faith and building a capable state, is itself an act of renewal. Cooperative democracy is an important concept that should be enumerated in the South African context. It refers to a state where government acts in consultation with the citizenry. According to former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas, the various aspects of renewal should be subject to democratic public reasoning. He suggests that South Africa adopts cooperative democracy “as a guiding principle” (Jonas, 2022). Cooperative democracy departs from the ANC practice of consolidating state control, regardless of capacity and capability. It resolves the tension between a statist and a people-driven state. To retain power, the party must lead and not dominate the state. This entails a capacitating or consultative role for the party. An illuminating example of such a change of course is the President’s comment during the State of the Nation Address: “We all know that government does not create jobs. Business creates jobs” (Ramaphosa, 2022). This comment, an act of conceptual and strategic direction, reverberated throughout the country. An act of renewal, it presented a watershed moment that closed a period where the state was seen to have the core developmental responsibility. This comment, recognising its limitations, initiates a new chapter, where development necessitates cooperation between all who have an interest in the state. It should not be seen as reneging or giving up power. Instead, as is illustrated by the decision to permit up to 100MW of private power generation, it shows a state that enables itself when it enables others. The consultative process should again be used to deliver renewal and unity. Deliberation and engagement are required for true cooperative democracy. These are not only historical principles of the ANC but have also been its traditional strengths. When it first came into power, it employed a consultative and collaborative approach with such skill, it strategically outplayed its political opponents. True renewal would, therefore, be underscored by an enabling power. Inclusion can yet again be used to the advantage of the party. “To be effective”, says Ramaphosa, a capable state underwritten by a comprehensive social compact “needs to include every South African and every part of our society. No one must be left behind” (Ramaphosa, 2022). Conclusion The ANC faces considerable challenges on its path to renewal. The various NPC and strategic documents show that the party is alive to the reality that goals are determined by the strategic environment, and not vice versa. The NDP is instructive. It states that: “A plan is only as credible as its delivery mechanism is viable. There is a real risk that South Africa’s developmental agenda could fail because the state is incapable of implementing it … a capable state does not materialise by decree, nor can it be legislated or waved into existence by declarations. It has to be built, brick by brick, institution by institution, and sustained and rejuvenated over time. It requires leadership” (NPC, 2012). This paper concludes by pointing to the fact that the ANC has resolved to renew and that its leadership has started to articulate what such renewal would entail. It is critical that the future leadership invigorates the renewal process. That it not only maintains its focus on capacitating an ethical, people-driven state, but that it must also actively design and implement the measures that are needed to establish it. To do so, the party must actively advance meaningful and real consultation, and cooperative democracy. References African National Congress (ANC). 2017. 54th National Conference: Report and Resolutions. [Online] Available at: https://cisp.cachefly.net/assets/articles/attachments/73640_54th_national_conference_report.pdf [accessed: 5 October 2022] African National Congress (ANC). 2022. Umrabulo: Policy Conference 2022: Special Edition. Comrie, S. 2022. The Collapse of old king coal part two, Daily Maverick, 10 October. 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[Online] Available at: https://omalley.nelsonmandela.org/omalley/index.php/site/q/03lv02039/04lv02103/05lv02120/06lv02126.html [accessed: 5 October 2022] Ramaphosa, C. 2020. Let this be a turning point in our fight against corruption. [Online] Available at: https://www.polity.org.za/article/let-this-be-a-turning-point-in-our-fight-against-corruption-2020-08-24 [accessed: 5 October 2022] Ramaphosa, C. 2022. President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers 2022 SONA. [Online] Available at: https://www.news24.com/citypress/news/full-speech-president-cyril-ramaphosa-delivers-2022-sona-20220210 [accessed: 5 October 2022] Republic of South Africa (RSA). 1996. South African Constitution. [Online] Available at: https://www.gov.za/documents/constitution-republic-south-africa-1996 [accessed: 5 October 2022] South African Congress Alliance (SACA). 1955. The Freedom Charter. [Online] Available at: https://www.anc1912.org.za/the-freedom-charter-2/ [accessed: 5 October 2022] UNCTAD, 2007. Economic development in Africa: Reclaiming policy space. Domestic resource mobilisation in developmental states. Report by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. New York and Geneva, 26 September. [accessed: 7 October 2022] - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: email@example.com Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za
- ISI attends reception hosted for the President of the Bavarian State Parliament
Daryl Swanepoel, the Chief Executive Officer of the Inclusive Society Institute (ISI), attended a reception hosted by the Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Ms Tanja Werheit, in honour of a visiting delegation from the Bavarian State Parliament. The reception was held on the evening of 3 November 2022 at the official residence of the Consul General in Cape Town. The Bavarian delegation was led by the President of the Bavarian State Parliament, Hon. Ilse Aigner. The ISI has as one of its objectives the promotion and development of rules-based international cooperation. In this regard it is working with a number of institutions and academics in Germany to advance and strengthen the bi-lateral relationship between South Africa and the Federal Republic of Germany, as well as to foster a better understanding between the two sides as to the need for reform of the global multilateral organisations.
- Contractionary fiscal consolidation vs expansionary fiscal stimulus in the context of SA's budget
Occasional Paper 10/2022 Copyright © 2022 Inclusive Society Institute PO Box 12609 Mill Street Cape Town, 8010 South Africa 235-515 NPO All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the permission in writing from the Inclusive Society Institute. DISCLAIMER Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or those of their respective Board or Council members. NOVEMBER 2022 by Robert Mopp & Daryl Swanepoel Contractionary fiscal consolidation vs Expansionary fiscal stimulus in the context of SA's budget Implications for growth, employment and debt Picture source: superforex.com Abstract This essay will first look at austerity as the policy that gained currency in the post-2008 Global Financial Crisis (GFC), particularly in the United Kingdom (UK), Greece, etc. The counter policy of fiscal stimulation has a much longer genesis that can be traced to the Great Depression era. In the stimulus versus austerity debate, there are also shades and overlap between the two approaches. Both have pros and cons and should be viewed against the background of South Africa’s current fiscal and economic situation. South Africa’s fiscal space has shrunk due to low growth, but there has been an improved revenue intake from higher commodity prices, resulting in a much improved main budget deficit for the 2022/2023 fiscal year, compared with the national budget presented in February. The main budget deficit narrowed to R42.7 billion in August, from R129.5 billion in July. This has provided additional space in the upcoming Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) in October – giving Treasury additional wiggle room. This essay advocates for a more gradual decrease of the budget deficit, as opposed to the current plan of higher levels of cuts. This should be in conjunction with structural changes to the economy to spur higher and faster growth, with infrastructure spending kick-starting the process. Introduction Joseph Schumpeter reminded us in 1934 that "public finances are one of the best starting points for an investigation of society; the budget is the skeleton of the state stripped of all misleading ideologies, the truest reflection of the distribution of power and influence”. It is where the governing party shows its prowess and resolve to grow the economy sustainably and improve the quality of people’s lives. Former President Mbeki further elaborated on this profound observation in his 2006 SONA address, when he said that “the spirit of a people, its cultural level, its social structure, the deeds its policy may prepare, is written in its fiscal history”. Professor Ben Clift (2018) asserts that austerity remains the central economic policy debate of our age; it goes to the nub of the issue under consideration. Over the last few years, this has become the case for South Africa too. He continues by asking how far governments should contain public spending, given increasing fiscal deficits and debt levels. Clift further asks, what should be accorded the highest priority: “reducing national debt to secure economic credibility or using fiscal and other policy levers to bolster economic growth”? This summarises the tension at the heart of the budget, namely contractionary “fiscal consolidation” versus an “expansionary fiscal policy”. These posers are pertinent to South Africa, in light of the upcoming budget statement by the minister of finance and “austerity by stealth”, which many say has been integral to the budget over the last period. This stance should be viewed against the current worsening global economic climate – after the two years of Covid-19 restrictions and initial recovery experienced in 2022 – of high inflation (high prices); high food and energy prices (accelerated by the conflict in Ukraine); glitches in the global supply chain mechanisms; de-globalisation and rising economic nationalism and the retreat into regional economic and political blocs; rising protectionism and trade barriers; deflation; stagflation and hysteresis (which increases long-term unemployment). It should also be seen against the increasing decoupling of the USA from Russia and China, ushering in a new “cold war” – seemingly at an end with the dissolution of the USSR, finding expression in Francis Fukuyama’s now famous axiom, “the end of history”. This maxim noted that the liberal-democratic system has triumphed, with no rival paradigm to challenge it. Predictions are that these challenging economic issues are not transitory, but will be medium to long term in nature. Currently, the world faces an unprecedented “cost of living crisis”. Fiscal Consolidation (Austerity) versus Fiscal Expansion Austerity is often couched in the understated and misleading term of “expansionary fiscal contraction”, which will ostensibly lead to increased growth levels, resulting in more jobs being created and the attendant positive outcomes. Austerity opponents state emphatically that this is not the case, based on empirical evidence dating to the 1930s (Germany then) and post-2008 Global Financial Crisis, in the European Union (EU). This debate also references the notion of Keynesian “countercyclical” economic measures, especially in crisis periods. Genesis of the Austerity Idea The austerity doctrine has a long genesis, dating back to philosophers and the classical economists. It can be traced to David Hume and Adam Smith in the 17th century, with John Locke, the antecedent. Blyth notes that the sentence, “the state: can’t live with it, can’t live without it, don’t want to pay for it” defines the liberal dilemma as the basis for austerity politics. Locke wanted to limit the attitude and ability of the state to increase debts at will. At that time, this was mainly directed at kings who arbitrarily taxed subjects for their vanity projects and to wage wars. Hume went further with his assertion that public debt can destroy a nation; again, to be seen within the context of monarchs with their unbridled power. In the modern era, there are checks and balances in place to counter this type of arbitrary exercise of power. He believed that the problem of public debt is unsolvable and potentially limitless; he also believed that debt can be passed on from generation to generation. According to Blyth, Adam Smith deduced that the free-market system would not survive if a country was not prepared to make certain sacrifices. Smith, as a notable abstemious person, had a very high opinion of “saving as an actuator” (Blyth, 2013). For Smith, a cardinal problem is that states are not savers, individuals are. These three theorists approached cost (debt) from a moral perspective – to them, saving is a virtue and spending is a vice. Later theorists associated with the neoclassical economic paradigm associate Smith with assigning a minimalist role to the state, the so-called “night watchman” role referred to in his 1776 classic, Wealth of Nations. According to Reisman (1998), Adam Smith “was not a single-minded advocate of a laissez-faire market in which the minimal state had no more than a protective function. Rather, he was a pragmatic social thinker who in each case selected the tool that was the best suited to his meta-objective of rapid economic growth”. Thomas Malthus, another classical economist, argued in favour of the need to maintain aggregate demand and to support key sectors of the economy. He greatly influenced Keynes. Malthus is referenced by Keynes as the “grandfather of his theory of effective demand” (Skidelsky, 2003). In 1930, Keynes warned the establishment of a rising disaster, if they continued on the path of an unbridled free-market, gold-standard orthodoxy and fiscal and monetary policy austerity. As it turned out, shrinking markets and balanced budgets exacerbated the unemployment problem, which remained obstinately high, leading to the 1929 stock market crash and the “Great Depression”, and, ultimately, war amongst nations in Europe. This scenario came to bear once more in 2008 with the Global Financial Crisis. Austerity Definition Professor Mark Blyth defines austerity as a “form of voluntary deflation in which the economy adjusts through the reduction of wages, prices, and public spending to restore competitiveness, which is (supposedly) best achieved by cutting the state’s budget, debts, and deficits”. Its adherents believe that it will inspire “business confidence”, since the government will either be “crowding out” the market for investment by amassing available capital through the issuance of debt, or adding to the nation’s already considerable debt, which they regard as too large and unsustainable in the long term. For Blyth, the goal of the exercise goes beyond a mere reduction of the fiscal deficit or public expenditure; it also aims to enhance competitiveness. Barry Ritholtz describes austerity as “the desire to slash government spending and cut deficits during a time of economic weakness or recession” (Andor, 2018). Professor Joseph Stiglitz, former World Bank Chief Economist and one of the critics of fiscal consolidation, compares austerity with an obsession with balanced budgets and a fixation on fiscal deficits. Stiglitz makes it clear that the main problem with the approach is that it makes cuts in expenditures (especially social spending) a policy priority when public revenues fall at a time of an economic downturn (what we are experiencing currently). Austerity measures refer to procyclical interventions during an economic downturn or recession, as opposed to fiscal stimulus measures that stress countercyclical measures. Treasury View and Neoclassical Economics The policy of fiscal consolidation, small government and balanced budgets is associated with the neoclassical economic framework. The neoclassical school posits that market economics have an automatic tendency to full employment equilibrium, are efficient and generally function well (Stiglitz, 2014). This school further believes that markets are more efficient than governments in allocating capital; state spending and taxes should be kept as low as possible; and budgets should be balanced (Skidelsky, 2020). Left to its own devices, the market would not provide the above, as we witnessed with the 2008 Global Financial Crisis and with the downturn occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic. New Consensus Macroeconomics, which replaced the New Keynesian synthesis as a dominant framework in central bank and finance minister circles, has a long history and many labels, according to Blanchard (2009). Perhaps the earliest popular term to describe its essential character, is the “Treasury View” – a term attributed to Keynes when he was employed here. Keynes was critical of Churchill’s defence of austerity in the beginning stages of the Great Depression. Two major features define the Treasury View: reduce the public debt, and the budget deficit as a percentage of GDP at all times. Padayachee describes the Treasury View as predicated on “fiscal restraint/conservatism, low budget deficits, holding down expenditures and public debt, tightly controlling and directing the public purse and sound money”. It became synonymous with the Washington Consensus. The argument is that such austerity will not adversely affect the economy, but rather that the opposite will happen, as government cuts will be met by increased private-sector spending. Increasing the budget deficit will, in this view, “crowd out” more productive private investment and should be strongly discouraged. The neoclassical doctrine of “expansionary austerity”, of cutting public expenditure and reducing budgets, is largely associated with the work of Alberto Alesina, a Harvard economist. Alesina used statistical techniques that supposedly identified all large fiscal policy changes in advanced countries between 1970 and 2007, and claimed to find evidence that spending cuts, in particular, were often “associated with economic expansions rather than recessions”. The reason advanced is that spending cuts create confidence (business), and that the positive effects of this increase in confidence trump the direct negative effects of reduced spending and exclude the possibility of any revived inflationary pressures. Inflation is currently at record highs, globally. However, the evidence does not bear this out under all circumstances and conditions. The 2013 Economic Report of the President, produced by the US President’s Council of Economic Advisers, notes that where states have pursued the economics of austerity, the result has been continually declining growth. In contrast, the US, Australia, etc., experienced positive economic growth. Similarly, the social democratic welfare states with the biggest levels of fiscal stimulus experienced the least loss of jobs and economic contraction during the Covid-19 pandemic, with accompanying massive global economic downturn. Reinhart-Rogoff Controversy In 2010, two well-known Harvard economists, Carmen Reinhart and Kenneth Rogoff, claimed in their now infamous paper, Growth in a Time of Debt, that 90% debt is a critical threshold; that once debt reaches more than about 90% of GDP, the risks of a large negative impact on long-term growth become highly significant. George Osborne, the then British Chancellor of the Exchequer, and many other finance ministers in the developed world, seized upon this conclusion to justify spending cuts and sharply lowering government debt. Three economists, Herndon, Ash and Pollin, from Amherst-Massachusetts, in a critique, replicated the Reinhart and Rogoff analysis and discovered a crucial spreadsheet error. When corrected, they came to the conclusion that growth rates in fact averaged 2.2%, not -0.1%, over the same period for the same group of countries. In their conclusion, they said: “In particular, it has established that policymakers cannot defend austerity measures on the grounds that public debt levels greater than 90% of GDP will consistently produce sharp declines in economic growth.” According to Professor Eric Widmaier (2013), in mistakenly characterising the historical relationship between rising debt and falling growth, Reinhart and Rogoff inadvertently omitted strong performers like Canada, New Zealand and Australia from their calculations. Widmaier continues by saying that more important, however, than their spreadsheet errors, was their “lack of theoretical insight, as they failed to recognise that the relationship is best seen as one of reverse causality: rising debt does not cause falling growth, so much as falling growth causes rising debt”. Subsequently, in 2013, Reinhart and Rogoff stated, “Our consistent advice has been to avoid withdrawing fiscal stimulus too quickly, a position identical to that of most mainstream economists. Given the likelihood of continued weak consumption growth in the US and Europe, rapid withdrawal of stimulus could easily tilt the economy back into recession.” Despite their erroneous calculations and subsequent partial volte-face, the Reinhart and Rogoff paper remains highly influential in the United States and Europe, and even in developing countries in the Global South. New Deal’s State-Led Approach In contradistinction to the fiscal consolidation approach, is an expansionary fiscal approach, undergirded by an effective, capable state. The New Deal, under former President Roosevelt, is regarded as a highly successful state-led economic development to counter the Great Depression travails. Roosevelt took America off the gold standard, devalued the dollar and targeted growth and development (Rauchway, 2015). He further targeted what was seen as the biggest challenge at that time, namely “deflation” (decrease in the general price level of goods and services) and secured a sustainable economic recovery. President Roosevelt was advised by Keynes – some budget items were cut, but overall spending was up. Massive public works programmes were created during this time. When asked if he intended to balance the budget, he responded thus: “It depends entirely on how you define the term, ‘balance the budget’ … We will balance the budget as far as the ordinary running expenses of the government go. But fighting the Depression required borrowing, to put people back to work and keep human beings from starving in this emergency. As desirable as a balanced budget might be, the needs of recovery come first” (Rauchway, 2015). By all accounts, the measures taken with the New Deal were a resounding success; growth was high, about 9% on average (Rauchway, 2015). Most scholarly accounts will concur with Keynes’s observation that “the extent, variety and spread of the recovery is outstanding in economic history” (Rauchway, 2015). Stimulus or Expansionary Fiscal Spending Evidence and results from the Great Depression and the 2008 Global Financial Crisis demonstrate that for fiscal stimulus, the “most effective way of cutting deficits is to resist recession and to combine deficit reduction with rapid economic growth” (Sen, 2015). Furthermore, Roosevelt’s words that, “as desirable as a balanced budget might be, the needs of recovery come first” (Rauchway, 2015) also apply in the context of expansion versus contraction. From the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s the public debt to GDP ratio was considerably larger in Britain than it has been at any time since the 2008 financial crisis, with high growth rates. Britain was also establishing its welfare state at the time, developing a foothold for the welfare state in Europe, and then globally. According to Sen, Britain’s debt to GDP ratio in 1948 was more than 200%, more than double what it has been over the last two decades. Keynes is credited with advocating for countercyclical fiscal measures to counter unemployment and low growth, rather than the procyclical approach followed in South Africa. Keynes famously said that the “boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury” (Skidelsky, 2003). In his General Theory in 1936, he suggests that cutting public expenditure is a problem, rather than a solution. Keynes introduced the notion that “demand is important as a determinant of economic activity, and that expanding rather than cutting public expenditure may do a much better job of expanding employment and activity in an economy with unused capacity and idle labour”. Many have misinterpreted Keynes’s point, saying he advocated reckless spending. However, Keynes was mindful of the context of spending, but within the broader framework of the macro economy. It was about the collective will of all stakeholders to deal with the challenges. Austerity does not assist the recovery process, as cutting public expenditure “adds to the inadequacy of private incomes and market demands” (Sen, 2015), leading to higher levels of joblessness. Most of the stimulus packages to counter the 2008 Global Financial Crisis were replaced by austerity packages in most of the developed countries. Sen said a “hybrid policy of somewhat weakened fiscal austerity with monetary expansion” then came into play, with mixed responses. South Africa’s Disquieting Political Economy South Africa has its own unique socio-economic challenges, characterised by high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality. We are regarded as one of the most unequal societies in the world. World Bank data that has measured the Gini coefficients of 146 countries since 2010, indicate that South Africa had the worst score, of 63. Unemployment stood at 34.9% in Q2: 2022, according to Stats SA. The aftermath of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis saw South Africa lose about one million jobs, only replenished on the eve of the outbreak of the devastating Covid-19 pandemic. A bigger number was subsequently lost in 2020, mainly recovered in 2021. In 2012, South Africa adopted the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, which sets out a long-term vision for the country on how it intends to bring about fundamental socio-economic transformation. The aim of the NDP is to attain an ever-improving standard of living for all South Africans, through higher economic growth and the reduction of poverty and inequality. The NDP set a number of ambitious targets that have by and large not been met by the actual outcomes (NPC, 2020). Given the devastation wrought by the Covid-19 pandemic – due to the lockdown of economies allowing no or reduced production, trading and consumption – South Africa’s economy shrunk by 7% in 2020. This is the worst performance since 1920, according to statistics. Then the world was battered by the “Great Flu” pandemic and the aftermath of the First World War. It would be an understatement that the 2021 budget was awaited keenly by everyone in South Africa. The expectation was that there would be economic improvements, and that this would raise our hopes for the future. But the entrenched fault lines in our political economy have only been aggravated by the economic, social and psychological ravages inflicted by the Covid-19 pandemic. It should be noted that our economy was already performing poorly prior to the onset of Covid-19, with many challenges on the fiscal, monetary, labour, productivity, indebtedness front, plus low growth. Covid-19 has simply highlighted fault lines that can no longer be hidden or wished away. We have suffered low nominal growth –1.2% annually over a five-year period, 2013-2018. By comparison, we averaged growth of 4,7% in the 2005-2008 period. The number of unemployed persons increased by 132 000 to 8,0 million in Q2: 2022. The total number of persons employed is now 15,6 million. The official unemployment rate was 33,9%, and 44,1% for the expanded definition. The economy shrunk by 0.7% in Q2, denoting weaker economic activity, less spending power and weaker confidence overall. The NDP set a target of reducing unemployment from 25.4% in 2010 to 14% by 2020 and 6.0% by 2030. Achieving these goals would have entailed the creation of 2.2 million jobs between 2010 and 2015, at an annual average of 436 000, on the back of an average GDP growth rate of about 4.6% per annum. Between 2015 and 2020, the average rate of job creation should have risen to 505 000 per annum, creating an additional 2.5 million jobs. Instead, the small business sector, so critical for job creation and sustaining livelihoods in most economies, dropped from 64% in 2008 to 55% in 2015 (NPC, 2020). The South African economy’s small business composition is one of the lowest in Africa and globally. And yet, the NPC 2020 review report makes the truly astonishing claim that “the NDP does not prioritise informality”. This is linked to our inability to turn townships into areas of thriving economic activity. This is the case in many countries, especially at local level where the focus is on enhancing growth and creating jobs. On the poverty and inequality front, while poverty rates dropped significantly in the 2000s, this has tapered off since 2011, with some indicators degenerating (NPC, 2020). The percentage of the population designated as poor in terms of the South African Multidimensional Poverty Index headcount was 17.9% in 2001, dropping to 7% in 2016 (Stats SA, 2018). According to World Bank data, 19.5% of South Africans were trying to survive on the equivalent of USD1.90 per day in 2018 (PPP adjusted), representing a reduction from the equivalent figure of 36,6% in 1996. The NPC (2020) states that the “persistence of deep poverty is most likely due to slow job creation, rising food prices, and rapid increases in utility costs that have outpaced income growth”. Fiscal Direction of Budget and Consequences Let us now determine the “spirit” of our fiscal direction, as outlined in the 2021 budget. Most economists have characterised the budget as “austerity by stealth”, due to the cutbacks in funding on health, education and social assistance (in real terms). The then Finance Minister, Mboweni, proposed reducing the deficit from 14% in 2020/2021 to 6.3% in 2023/2024 in order to stabilise debt at 88.9% by 2023/2024. This will primarily be achieved by cutting R265 billion spending over the three-year MTEF, with hopefully higher income proceeds for an upturn in the economy. The Financial and Fiscal Commission (FFC, 2021) says that the tabled budget implies a real reduction in per capita non-interest spending of around 14% over the next three years. The FFC, in its March 2021 supplementary note, states that the consolidated expenditure on emergency medical services will be R7.2 billion in 2021 (R8.2 billion in the 2019 fiscal year). The estimate for 2023 is R8.1 billion – i.e., below its nominal level in 2019. Expenditure on central hospitals will grow at 1.3% per annum between 2019 and 2023 – below the average inflation rate of around 4%. The cutting of funds contradicts the idea of using the health crisis to strengthen the health infrastructure as we transition to the National Health Insurance (NHI). Consolidated expenditure on basic education will increase by less than 2% per annum between 2019 and 2023, below the average rate of consumer price inflation over theperiod. This will result in fewer teachers, meaning larger class numbers, especially in township schools. Funding for students at tertiary level has also been cut, resulting in the absence of many deserving students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The sober tones of the FFC should give us pause for reflection. The FFC notes that the “budget 2021 is the first time since the adoption of the Constitution in which a budget tabled by the executive hasunambiguously proposed a substantial reduction in the real value of allocations to public services that undergird these socio-economic rights” (FFC, 2021). Infrastructure Spent to Spur Economic Growth According to the Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC, 2020), government has been issuing bonds worth about R80 billion a month for current spending needs. Since the additional funding is already committed, there is very little room for bulk investments. Investment flows have lagged the targets set by President Ramaphosa, despite the diligent efforts to attract such. However, government notes that the market has the capacity and the appetite to invest in long-term infrastructure projects via public-private partnerships, provided they are bankable. The private sector is prepared to do this without government having to commit initial kick-start funding. But it would want a “clear regulatory framework, transparency, zero political interference and a clear project pipeline” (PEAC, 2020). These infrastructure projects – in water, electricity and the build environment – would then create spin-offs for ancillary industries. The PEAC also envisages green projects to be prioritised. Yet, FirstRand Chair, Roger Jardine, in the group’s 2021 annual report, has been extremely critical about the “painfully slow” pace of government’s proposed infrastructure programme. Jardine says that over two years ago President Cyril Ramaphosa pledged an infrastructure programme that was “the flywheel for economic growth and large-scale job creation”. He says Ramaphosa “has regularly acknowledged the crucial importance of South Africa’s “infrastructure programme as a key driver of his economic recovery strategy. Yet, it is hard to identify one government-led infrastructure project of any significance that has actually been executed. Progress, in other words, has been to date, glacial. The pace does not correlate to the stated ‘extraordinary’ nature of the measures required. Extraordinary suggests urgency, immediate action and focus.” Despite the general negative sentiment, Jardine denotes “some promising developments, particularly in the energy space”. Jardine notes a disconnect between President Ramaphosa’s plea and the lack of delivery. Jardine says that the primary reason “is the historical unwillingness to crowd in the private sector”. This refers to the lack of close, cooperative ties between government and the private sector since the post-1994 period. This historic mistrust has not sufficiently receded as hoped in that initial euphoric period. PEAC on South Africa’s Fiscal Trajectory The Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC, 2020) states that GDP has declined over the last few years, mainly due to “declining Total Factor Production” and that “fiscal policy had been unsustainable” prior to the onset of Covid-19. They express misgivings about our procyclical fiscal stance, as debt levels have been on the rise. In the same breath, the PEAC notes that austerity is essentially anti-growth. The PEAC aligns itself with Professor Burger’s view, which proposes a “more gradual and realistic fiscal adjustment path”, as Treasury’s ambitious plan is neither economically nor politically feasible in a low growth, high interest rate environment. For Burger (2020), higher growth rates are imperative, coupled by a more gradual rise in the primary surplus by 2016/2017. To achieve this more gradual, realistic, less procyclical scenario, it needs to be “accompanied by visible structural change in order to be time consistent and credible, including wage bill reduction and fundamental restructuring of SOEs” (PEAC, 2020). This more feasible trajectory must not only contain unnecessary perks and expenditure, engender savings by eliminating wasteful and inefficient expenditure, but it must also grow incomes via growth enhancing reforms that will result in more jobs being created. The PEAC notes that whilst the “imperative for fiscal consolidation is therefore compelling, it must also be balanced by the need to support post-Covid recovery and for a buoyant tax base”. SA’s Debt, is it Too Onerous? There is a general prevailing narrative that South Africa’s debt ratio to GDP is too high. It currently stands at 70.1% (IMF, 2022), which, by international standards and the average of South Africa’s debt level, is not onerous. The other plus in the case of South Africa, is that most of our debt is rand-denominated (local currency); about 90%, “shielding government from some volatility in debt costs due to fluctuations in the exchange rate” (Treasury, 2020). The world average is 97% – advanced economies, 120%; emerging markets, 66%; upper income, higher than 66%; Asia, 73%; and Latin America, 72% (IMF, 2022). Japan is a staggering 256% and has suffered from deflation for more than a decade. The interest rate on our debt is high, at 8-9%. By comparison, developing countries’ average debt cost on external borrowing is three times higher than that of developed countries. In the low interest environment of the last decade, developed countries borrowed at an interest cost of an average of 1% (Spiegel & Schwank, 2022). The problem is that there is no belief from financial entities that government will stick to its promises to lower the debt through fiscal consolidation, higher taxes or efficiencies in spending. Treasury has committed itself to a budget surplus by the 2023/2024 budget – which is odd, given the current depressed global economic environment. This move is intended to send a signal to the “market” and financial institutions that Treasury is committed to a “fiscal consolidation path” and to instil confidence. On the expenditure front, we should be mindful that spending should be in areas that will spur economic growth and not go into consumer spending, especially on luxury goods. Consumption is already high as a share of GDP in South Africa. It means that households are consuming more than their income, as statistics clearly show, signifying high levels of debt. Indeed, debt levels are very high in South Africa – too high for too many. Private consumption as a substitute for government spending to invoke higher levels of growth will not add substantially to the economy. In fact, it is likely to make the economy less productive in the future, not more productive (Baker, 2012). Dean Baker notes that “high levels of private consumption are associated with a negative savings rate”. The savings rate (not in a mechanistic manner) is important for the domestic investment rate. The Covid-19 crisis has showed that many more things are possible with commitment. Conclusion South Africa’s economy has not been robust for some time, with debt on an upward trajectory, dampening growth prospects. Our debt is not onerous by international standards, and it is overwhelmingly rand-denominated. At the same time, social ills are in abundance in our society, and some fiscal easing is necessary to tackle the cost-of-living crisis with its accompanying high prices of goods, especially food and energy. Our growth rate is low and that must urgently improve. Economic policies and choices need to be firm and consistent to ensure that there is confidence in them. The appropriate policy mixes, contextual to our situation, should be implemented so that our economic turnaround can occur in the short term and be sustainable. This paper argues for less severe budget cuts within a more gradual, realistic, less procyclical framework and a more longer-term fiscal recalibration path – as endorsed by the President’s own economic advisory council – than the current Treasury one, which is too ambitious in its outlook. Given the current dismal global economic scenario (likely to continue into the medium term), Treasury’s fiscal consolidation plan is not regarded as economically and politically attainable in a low-growth, high interest rate, higher inflation environment. A more realistic fiscal approach should then result in a more gradual rise in the primary surplus in the years ahead, rather than a short, sharp shock approach, which will dump the economy into a recession, with all its negative attributes. There are enough areas to cut in government spending with the amount of waste and inefficiencies prevalent. These views should be articulated in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) on 26 October, as a much-improved main budget deficit for the 2022/2023 fiscal year is forecast, compared with the national budget projections in February. The tax take shot past the February budget outlook by R162 billion, narrowing the main budget deficit to R42.7 billion in August, from R129.5 billion in July Zwane, 2022). Fiscal consolidation has “costs” attached to it, like a reduction in government personnel, less funds for services and infrastructure maintenance. “Rigidly sticking to fiscal orthodoxies in a crisis is not always wise, as much as it needs to be balanced with boldness” (Financial Times, 2022). We have seen how Europe has put price caps on energy prices and introduced windfall taxes for the oil companies, given the astronomical profits generated over the last period due to its high prices. Shell’s profits more than doubled for the third quarter of 2022, to a whopping USD9.5 billion, compared to 2021 alone. Shell’s chief executive Ben van Beurden, for example, urged governments to tax energy companies via a windfall tax to ‘protect the poorest’ in society (Euronews). Stiglitz (2022) states that windfall profit taxes are necessary in “controlling key prices – such as those for electricity and food – and encouraging government interventions where necessary”. The mining industry in South Africa has generated 85% of the windfall profits generated over the last year. However, and crucially important, this expanded fiscal space generated by less severe budget cuts, combined with the windfall profits, should be spent on economic infrastructure development and job-enhancing projects and programmes and not on consumption. Economic infrastructure development will undoubtedly lead to higher economic growth and a bigger market, with an accompanying increase in tax revenues and more social and political stability; a win-win situation in South Africa. Wasteful expenditure and unnecessary perks should be ruthlessly erased from budgets; SOEs should be radically restructured and better governed, underpinned by the necessary structural reforms of our economy. It was noted by the PEAC that the market has both the appetite and capacity to invest in infrastructure programmes. More importantly, the private sector is prepared to do this without government even committing the initial kick-start funding; this is a big plus. There has been positive development in the energy sector with the opening up of the various bid windows of the renewable energy independent power producer’s procurement programme (REIPPPP) and with other components of the national energy programme. The twin reforms of austerity related to consumption spending and debt expansion to accommodate economic infrastructure development will enable both growth and future tax revenue enlargement capable of servicing the newly acquired debt. In the immortal words of Joan Robinson, “when it is forbidden to admit error there can be no progress”. We must disabuse ourselves of the notion that incantations will deliver the magical silver bullet; that is the height of idealism. The economy needs lubrication, as well as dealing with the debt that has grown exponentially. In an ideal world, we should be implementing Keynes famous dictum that the “boom, not the slump, is the right time for austerity at the Treasury”; it remains as true now as then. Unfortunately, the world is imperfect. Forging an agenda of shared objectives between the government, labour, business and civil society will be critical in advancing a growth and development agenda for the country. The structural deficiencies in the South African economy have to be addressed simultaneously. Our low growth rate of the last period, likely to be less than 2% for 2022 (Treasury, 2020; IMF, 2022), should be urgently boosted. The budget and its implications require a thorough discussion of the appropriate policy options for the country’s future. Spend on economic infrastructure development Source: Treasury projection: http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2021/review/FullBR.pdf (grey line); illustrative alternative debt model : Inclusive Society Institute (red line) Annotation Austerity or “fiscal consolidation” can be defined as “a form of voluntary deflation in which the economy adjusts through the reduction of wages, prices and public spending to restore competitiveness, which is (supposedly) best achieved by cutting the state’s budget, debts and deficits”, which will “inspire ‘business confidence’”. Blyth considers it very dangerous, because it was the failed “classical” response to the Great Depression, 180 degrees in opposition to the Keynesian prescriptions, and also exactly what Germany has been prescribing today for Greece, with predictably disastrous results (Blyth, 2013). Barry Ritholtz describes austerity as “the desire to slash government spending and cut deficits during a time of economic weakness or recession”. Prof Alberto Alesina, a Harvard economist, was positive about the effects of austerity of fiscal consolidation. His perspectives were based on a study of large fiscal policy changes in advanced countries between 1970 and 2007. Alesina claimed to find evidence that spending cuts, in particular, were often “associated with economic expansions rather than recessions”. The reason advanced is that spending cuts create confidence (business), and that the positive effects of this increase in confidence trump the direct negative effects of reduced spending and exclude the possibility of any revived inflationary pressures. Classical economics refers to the English school of economic thought that originated during the late 18th century with Scottish economist, Adam Smith, and that reached maturity in the works of David Ricardo and John Stuart Mill. The theories of the classical school, which dominated economic thinking in Great Britain until about 1870, focused on economic growth and economic freedom, stressing laissez-faire ideas and free competition. Many of the fundamental concepts and principles of classical economics were set forth in Smith’s An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) (Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2022). Most consider Smith the progenitor of classical economic theory. However, Spanish scholastics and French physiocrats made earlier contributions. Other notable contributors to classical economics include David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, Karl Marx, Anne Robert Jacques Turgot, John Stuart Mill, Jean-Baptiste Say, and Eugen Böhm von Bawerk (Young, 2022). The Classical economists believed in free market efficiency, given a series of assumptions known as the First Welfare Theorem. The conditions of this theorem are that there is perfect information in the market, zero transaction costs, a large number of buyers and sellers, no externalities, and all transactions are voluntary. According to the classical school of thought, free markets functioned better than regulated markets as long as the conditions of the First Welfare Theorem held. (Econ488.blogs) Deflation is when the overall price level decreases so that the inflation rate becomes negative. It is the opposite of the often-encountered inflation. A reduction in money supply or credit availability is the reason for deflation, in most cases. Reduced investment spending by government or individuals may also lead to this situation. Deflation leads to a problem of increased unemployment due to slack in demand. Central banks aim to keep the overall price level stable by avoiding situations of severe deflation/inflation. They may infuse a higher money supply into the economy to counterbalance the deflationary impact. In most cases, a depression occurs when the supply of goods is more than that of money (The Economic Times). Hysteresis is from the Greek term “hysteros”, meaning "a coming short, a deficiency”. The term “hysteresis”, coined by Sir James Alfred Ewing, a Scottish physicist and engineer (1855-1935), refers to systems, organisms and fields that have memory. In other words, the consequences of an input are experienced with a certain lag time, or delay. In economics, hysteresis arises when a single disturbance affects the course of the economy. An example of hysteresis in economics is the delayed effects of unemployment. As unemployment increases, more people adjust to a lower standard of living. As they become accustomed to the lower standard of living, people may not be as determined to achieve the previously desired higher living standard. In addition, as more people become unemployed, it becomes more socially acceptable to be or remain unemployed. After the labour market returns to normal, some unemployed people may be disinterested in returning to the work force (Kenton, 2021). New Consensus Macroeconomics (NCM) draws heavily on the so-called new Keynesian economics in its macro-modelling and replaced it after the collapse of the Grand Neoclassical Synthesis in the 1970s. The New Keynesian paradigm, which arose in the 1980s, provided sound microfoundations along with the concurrent development of the real business cycle approach, which promoted the explicit optimisation behaviour aspect. Those developments, along with macroeconomic features that the previous paradigm lacked (such as the long-run vertical Phillips curve), resulted in the NCM. The Taylor Rule became the most common way to model monetary policy. Monetary policy as interest rate policy became one of the hallmarks of the New Consensus (prof Philip Arestis). Stagflation is an economic cycle characterised by slow growth and a high unemployment rate accompanied by inflation. Economic policymakers find this combination particularly difficult to handle, as attempting to correct one of the factors can exacerbate the other. Once thought by economists to be impossible, stagflation has occurred repeatedly in the developed world since the 1970s oil crisis (Investopedia, 2022). Stimulus refers to action by the government to encourage private sector economic activity by engaging in targeted, expansionary monetary or fiscal policy based on the ideas of Keynesian economics. The term economic stimulus is based on an analogy of the biological process of stimulus and response, with the intention of using government policy as a stimulus to elicit a response from the private sector economy. Economic stimulus is commonly employed during times of recession. Policy tools often used to implement economic stimulus include lowering interest rates, increasing government spending, and quantitative easing, to name a few (Investopedia, 2021). References Andor, L. 2018. Austerity: From Outrage to Progressive Alternatives [Online] Available at: https://socialeurope.eu/austerity-outrage-progressive-alternatives [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Baker, D. 2012. Attacking the Treasury View, Again [Online] Available at: https://cepr.net/report/attacking-the-treasury-view-again/ [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Blanchard, O. 2009. The State of Macro [Online] Available at: https://www.nber.org/papers/w14259 [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Blyth, M. 2013. Austerity: The History of a Dangerous Idea. New York: Oxford University Press. Burger, P. 2020. South Africa’s debt: Has the budget overpromised? 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Economic Report of the President (2013) [Online] Available at: https://www.govinfo.gov/app/details/ERP-2013/summary [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Herndon, T., Ash, M. & Pollin, R. 2013. Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff, Cambridge Journal of Economics, 38:257-279. International Monetary Fund (IMF). 2022. IMF Fiscal Monitor. [Online] Available at: https://www.imf.org/external/datamapper/GGXWDN_G01_GDP_PT@FM/ADVEC/FM_EMG/FM_LIDC [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Investopedia. 2021. What Is Economic Stimulus? [Online] Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/e/economic-stimulus.asp [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Investopedia. 2022. What Is Stagflation, What Causes It, and Why Is It Bad? [Online] Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/stagflation.asp#:~:text=and%20rising%20prices.-,Once%20thought%20by%20economists%20to%20be%20impossible%2C%20stagflation%20has%20occurred,makes%20stagflation%20hard%20to%20fight. [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Jardine, R. 2021. FirstRand 2022 Annual Integrated Report [Online] Available at: https://www.firstrand.co.za/media/investors/annual-reporting/firstrand-annual-integrated-report-2021.pdf [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Kenton, W. 2021. What Is Hysteresis? [Online] Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/h/hysteresis.asp [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Krugman, P. 2015. The austerity delusion [Online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/business/ng-interactive/2015/apr/29/the-austerity-delusion [accessed: 27 October 2022]. National Planning Commission (NPC). 2020. Economic Progress Towards the National Development Plan’s Vision 2030 [Online] Available at: https://www.nationalplanningcommission.org.za/assets/Documents/Review%20of%20Economic%20Progress%20NPC%20Dec%202020.pdf [accessed: 27 October 2022]. National Treasury (Treasury). 2020. Budget Review 2020 [Online] Available at: http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2020/review/fullbr.pdf [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Peden, G. 1996. The Treasury View in the interwar Period: An Example of Political Economy? [Online] Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324113673_The_Treasury_View_in_the_interwar_Period_An_Example_of_Political_Economy [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC). 2020. Briefing Notes on Key Policy Questions for SA’s Economic Recovery [Online] Available at: https://www.scribd.com/document/479901686/Briefing-notes-on-key-political-questions-for-SA-s-economic-recovery [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC). 2021. Briefing Note for President Ramaphosa on Current Economic Policy Priorities [Online] Available at: https://www.thepresidency.gov.za/sites/default/files/Briefing%20Note%20for%20President%20Ramaphosa%20on%20Current%20Economic%20Policy%20Priorities%20Jan%202021_1.pdf [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Rauchway, E. 2015. The Money Makers: How Roosevelt and Keynes Ended the Depression, Defeated Fascism, and Secured a Prosperous Peace. New York: Basic Books. Reinhart, C. & Rogoff, K. 2010. Growth in a Time of Debt [Online] Available at: https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w15639/w15639.pdf [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Reisman, D. 1998. Adam Smith on Market and State, Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, 154(2): 357-357. Sachs, M. 2021. 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Keynes and Social Democracy Today [Online] Available at: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/keynes-and-social-democracy-today?barrier=accesspaylog [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Skidelsky, R. 2015. The Failure of Austerity [Online] Available at: http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/SPERIPaper23-the-failure-of-austerity.pdf [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Skidelsky, R. 2020. Keynes: The Second Coming? PANOECONOMICUS, 68(2):159-165. South African Reserve Bank, 6 October 2022 press statement. South Africa is Doing Well. Spiegel, S. & Schwank, O. 2022. Bridging the ‘great finance divide’ in developing countries [Online] Available at: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/future-development/2022/06/08/bridging-the-great-finance-divide-in-developing-countries/ [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). 2018. Overcoming Poverty and Inequality in South Africa [Online] Available at: https://www.statssa.gov.za/wp-content/themes/umkhanyakude/documents/South_Africa_Poverty_and_Inequality_Assessment_Report_2018.pdf [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Stiglitz, J. 2014. Europe’s Austerity Disaster [Online] Available at: https://socialeurope.eu/europes-austerity-disaster [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Stiglitz, J. 2017. The Welfare State in the 21st Century [Online] Available at: https://policydialogue.org/files/publications/The_Welfare_State_in_the_Twenty-First_Century.pdf [Accessed: 27 October 2022]. Widmaier, W. 2013. Deficit hysteria debunked: in the long run, Keynes was right [Online] Available at: https://theconversation.com/deficit-hysteria-debunked-in-the-long-run-keynes-was-right-14465 [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Young, J. 2022. Classical Economics [Online] Available at: https://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/classicaleconomics.asp [accessed: 27 October 2022]. Zwane, T. 2022. [Online] SA doing well, as Reserve Bank hails fiscal position. Available at: https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/economy/2022-10-04-sa-doing-well-says-reserve-bank-as-it-hails-fiscal-position/ [accessed: 27 October 2022]. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589 Web: www.inclusivesociety.org.za
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Jama-Ah Up Aug 31, 2022 Türkiye holds panel on UN reform in Cape Town TN Live News Up Aug 31, 2022 Turkiye Holds Panel On Security Council Reform In Cape Town IBC Tech Up Aug 31, 2022 Turkiye holds panel on Safety Council reform in Cape City The Times of Sindh Up Aug 31, 2022 Turkiye holds panel on Security Council reform in Cape Town Middle East Monitor Up Aug 31, 2022 Intellectuals condemn Africa’s absence from UN Security Council and call for reform IOL: Mwangi Githahu Up Aug 31, 2022 Panel calls for reform of UN Security Council Cape Argus: Mwangi Githahu Up Aug 31, 2022 Hierdie ratte kort net olie Die Burger: Daryl Swanepoel Up Aug 31, 2022 Hierdie ratte kort net olie Beeld: Daryl Swanepoel Up Aug 31, 2022 Hierdie ratte kort net olie Netwerk 24: Daryl Swanepoel Up Aug 31, 2022 "UN Security Council Reform" panel in Cape Town from the Presidency's Directorate of Communications Canli Gaste Up Aug 30, 2022 Appointment of anti-corruption council a critical step, but it must be given 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30, 2022 ”UN Security Council Reform” panel in Cape Town from the Presidency of Communications Muhalif Up Aug 30, 2022 "UN Security Council Reform" panel in Cape Town from the Presidency's Directorate of Communications Son Dakika Up Aug 30, 2022 'UN Security Council Reform' panel in Cape Town from the Presidency of Communications Anadolu Ajansi: Murat Ozgur Guvendik Up Aug 30, 2022 "UN Security Council Reform" panel in Cape Town Son Haberler Up Aug 22, 2022 Grease the gears so the economic wheels can turn Head Topics: Daryl Swanepoel Up Aug 22, 2022 Grease the gears so the economic wheels can turn Business Day: Daryl Swanepoel Up Jul 25, 2022 Solving For The Workplace Of The Future The Skills Portal Up Jul 24, 2022 Social cohesion and the factors influencing unity with the South African society Valley FM: Marianne Dekker & Daryl Swanepoel Up Jul 22, 2022 Solving for the workplace of the future FA News Up Jul 22, 2022 Inclusive Society Institute on crime in SA The Voice of the Cape: Daryl Swanepoel Up Jul 22, 2022 Recent tavern killings show crippling inability to tackle rising crime IOL: Sisipho Bhuta Up Jul 14, 2022 Crime and chaos in communities Banoyi: eNCA interview with Daryl Swanepoel Up Jul 14, 2022 Crime and chaos in communities eNCA: Gareth Edwards speaks to Daryl Swanepoel Up Jul 12, 2022 Five ways in which South Africa can advance equity Daily Maverick: Rose Tuyeni Peter, Beth Vale and Daryl Swanepoel Up Jul 05, 2022 Authorities must regain belief of the individuals of South Africa USA News Love Up Jul 05, 2022 Anti-Corruption Cape Talk - Afternoon Drive with John Maytham: Prof Zweli Ndevu Up Jul 04, 2022 Government needs to regain trust of the people of South Africa - and that means acting against corruption Daily Maverick: Evangelos Mantzaris and Daryl Swanepoel Up Jun 27, 2022 Towards a national commitment Business Day: Klause Kotzé Up Jun 19, 2022 Les fissures se creusent au sein du parti au pouvoir sud-africain ANC Wazakin Up Jun 18, 2022 Cracks widen in South African ruling party ANC Newshunter365 Up Jun 18, 2022 Cracks widen in South African ruling party ANC The East African: Peter Dube Up Jun 14, 2022 Songezo Zibi says he will run for president... FR Postsus Up Jun 14, 2022 South African Politics Sparks New Direction As ANC Reaches Its End-of-life Date, New Generation Leaders Emerge Global Upfront Newspapers Up Jun 14, 2022 Songezo Zibi says he will run for president as he tables a manifesto for a new society; more will follow Daily Maverick: Ferial Haffajee Up Jun 12, 2022 Time is ripe for electoral change in SA Sunday Times: Mmusi Maimane Up Jun 08, 2022 Anti-corruption dialogue with Professor Thuli Madonsela We can change our world Up Jun 02, 2022 Civil society criticizes Parliament for not respecting its constitutional obligations News Post Us Zero: Deborah Up Jun 02, 2022 Electoral Amendment Bill: Civil society slams Parliament for not meeting constitutional obligations Banoyi: News24.com Up Jun 01, 2022 Civil society groups agree on steps to change electoral system before 2024 elections Gateway News Up Jun 01, 2022 Electoral Amendment Bill: Civil society slams Parliament for not meeting constitutional obligations The World News Up Jun 01, 2022 Electoral Amendment Bill: Civil society slams Parliament for not meeting constitutional obligations News24: Jan Gerber Up May 31, 2022 The Electoral Amendment Bill Cape Talk: John Maytham interviews Daryl Swanepoel Up May 25, 2022 Get back to basics to reboot growth Business Day: Daryl Swanepoel Up May 25, 2022 Get back to basics to reboot growth Head Topics: Daryl Swanepoel Up May 25, 2022 Without social justice, social cohesion can only be a temporary, ephemeral concept Daily Maverick: Dr Klaus Kotzé Up May 25, 2022 Without social justice, social cohesion can only be a temporary, ephemeral concept Banoyi Up May 25, 2022 Without social justice, social cohesion can only be a temporary, ephemeral concept iono.fm: Daily Maverick Up May 24, 2022 Employment Services Amendment Bill The Voice of the Cape: Interview with Daryl Swanepoel Up May 23, 2022 Nation Building: Racial inequality in South Africa eNCA: Mfundo Mabalane interviews Daryl Swanepoel Up May 18, 2022 Here Is Why SA Citizens Hate Immigrants Opera News Up May 15, 2022 SA citizens don’t trust immigrants, says survey Trumpet International Magazine: Omotayo Daranjo Up May 14, 2022 Naweekaktueel: Meer as 10% gekwalifiseerde Suid-Afrikaners wil immigreer RSG: Anita Visser voer onderhoud met Daryl Swanepoel Up May 14, 2022 South Africans don't trust immigrants, survey reveals News 365: Omie Chester Up May 13, 2022 Brain drain | Skilled workers may leave in a year or two eNCA: Tumelo Mothotoane interviews Daryl Swanepoel. Up May 13, 2022 South Africans don't trust foreigners - Survey reveals Celebrity Breeze Up May 13, 2022 SA citizens don't trust immigrants, says survey IOL Up May 13, 2022 'Fix the economy' - warns institute amid study showing high number of South Africans want to emigrate IOL Up May 13, 2022 'Fix the economy' - warns institute amid study showing high number of South Africans want to emigrate Scalabrini Institute for Human Mobility in Africa Up May 13, 2022 'Fix the economy' - warns institute amid study showing high number of South Africans want to emigrate MTNPlay (IOL article) Up May 13, 2022 'Fix the economy' - warns institute amid study showing high number of South Africans want to emigrate Hebdenbridge News Up May 13, 2022 Over 10% of South Africans with higher education qualifications are considering emigrating: Study Newzroom Africa: Daryl Swanepoel Up May 12, 2022 Big brain drain alert: Over 10% of educated South Africans want to emigrate African News Agency: Molaole Montsho Up May 12, 2022 Big brain drain alert: Over 10% of educated South Africans want to emigrate IOL Up May 10, 2022 Structural reform across the board needed to pave way for SA welfare state Daily Maverick: Dr Klaus Kotzé Up May 10, 2022 Structural reform across the board needed to pave way for SA welfare state Banoyi: Dr Klaus Kotzé Up May 06, 2022 South Africans don't trust foreigners of any origin Mail & Guardian: Bongeka Gumede Up Apr 27, 2022 SA citizens no longer trust immigrants - says new survey Opera News Up Apr 24, 2022 SA citizens don't trust immigrants, says survey Weekend Argus: Brenda Masilela Up Apr 18, 2022 Efficient logistics needed to keep agri exports on the right track World News: Daryl Swanepoel Up Apr 18, 2022 Efficient logistics needed to keep agri exports on the right track Business Day: Daryl Swanepoel Up Apr 16, 2022 African nations must base foreign policy on domestic interests, not past ideological ties Ramadan-Karim: Rosanna H. Brooks Up Apr 16, 2022 African nations must base foreign policy on domestic interests, not past ideological ties The Namibian: William Gumede Up Apr 14, 2022 Artistic concepts of hope can scale back inequality in South Africa The Indian Express: Anja Smith, Jodi Wishnia, Carmen Christian & Daryl Swanepoel Up Apr 13, 2022 We have to be creative and harness ideas of hope to reduce inequality in South Africa Daily Maverick: Anja Smith, Jodi Wishnia, Carmen Christian & Daryl Swanepoel Up Apr 13, 2022 Creative ideas of hope can reduce inequality Articleslider: Anja Smith, Jodi Wishnia, Carmen Christian & Daryl Swanepoel Up Apr 12, 2022 The Russia-Ukraine War: What has been the impact on South Africa and fellow BRICS (Brasil, Russia, India, China, SA) members and on African economies ResearchGate: William Gumede Up Apr 11, 2022 African nations must base foreign policy on hame care ... newsfounded.com: William Gumede Up Apr 11, 2022 African nations must base foreign policy on domestic interests, not past ideological ties Daily Maverick: William Gumede Up Apr 11, 2022 Graft still a big problem The Citizen: Daryl Swanepoel Up Apr 11, 2022 Little done to bring the thieves to book The World News Up Apr 11, 2022 Little done to bring the thieves to book The Citizen: Editorial Up Apr 02, 2022 'Apartheid was 'n welsynstaat vir wit mense' Die Burger: Murray La Vita Up Apr 02, 2022 'Apartheid was 'n welsynstaat vir wit mense' Netwerk24: Murray La Vita Up Apr 01, 2022 Die Burger se praat saam-diskoersreeks - Hoe floreer die private sektor in 'n welsynstaat? KKNK 2022 Gesprekke Up Mar 31, 2022 Rejuvenating SA's economy - a labour sector perspective Business Day: Daryl Swanepoel Up Mar 29, 2022 Es probable que Ramaphosa gane la conferencia electiva del ANC ES Postsus Up Mar 28, 2022 Ramaphosa likely to win ANC elective conference and lead a coalition government in 2024 - research reports Daily Maverick: Ferial Haffajee Up Mar 23, 2022 Media statement: Home Affairs Committee concludes countrywide public consultation process RSA Parliament: Media Statement Up Mar 23, 2022 Discussions to fix Eskom's woes IOL: Ntombi Nkosi Up Mar 22, 2022 Conditions needed in a society to enable it to advance towards a welfare state The Voice of the Cape: Interview with Dr Klaus Kotzé Up Mar 18, 2022 Crisis in Europe highlights critical importance of selfsufficient, secure and stable energy production Business Day: Daryl Swanepoel Up Mar 13, 2022 Government must get back to basics to build a better economy Head Topics: Business Day - Daryl Swanepoel Up Mar 13, 2022 Government must get back to basics to build a better economy Business Day: Daryl Swanepoel Up Mar 06, 2022 Inclusive Society Institute says Electoral Bill does not respond to society's expectations for fundamental electoral reform Independent Candidate Association South Africa Up Mar 06, 2022 Inclusive Society Institute says Electoral Bill does not respond to society's expectations for fundamental electoral reform IOL: Mayibongwe Maqhina Up Mar 02, 2022 New Electoral Amendment Bill slated Oudtshoorn Courant: Citizen reporter Up Mar 02, 2022 New Electoral Amendment Bill slated George Hearld: Source Citizen reporter Up Mar 02, 2022 Media statement: Home Affairs Committee assures South Africans about a meaningful public participation process to be undertaken RSA Parliament: Media statement Up Mar 01, 2022 New Electoral Amendment Bill slated The Citizen: Article by Lunga Simelane Up Mar 01, 2022 New Electoral Amendment Bill slated The Daily Mirror: Article by Tshepo Mohale Up Mar 01, 2022 SA's electoral system is ripe for radical change, OSA tells Parliament News24: Article by Jason Felix Up Mar 01, 2022 Ubuntu and the role of the State Transform: Dr Motsamai Molefe Up Feb 21, 2022 What the ANC can learn from Singapore's People's Action Party Business Day: Opinion piece by Prof William Gumede Up Feb 15, 2022 Reuse tekort aan digitale vaardighede in Suid-Afrika KykNET Verslag: Ilze-Marie Le Roux gesels met kenners oor wat aget die tekort steek en hoe dit aangespreek kan word Up Feb 13, 2022 Social democracy - A pathway for South Africa's development Africa Press Up Feb 13, 2022 Social democracy - A pathway for South Africa's development Opera News article by Carole-Tee Up Feb 13, 2022 Social democracy - A pathway for South Africa's development IOL article by Dr Klaus Kotzé Up Feb 10, 2022 Can South Africa afford the NHI? Discourse ZA interview with Anja Smith Up Feb 10, 2022 SA's chronic disregard of logistics woes stops mines benefiting from bullish markets Business Day article by Daryl Swanepoel Up Feb 07, 2022 Investing in the ICT sector is a no-brainer Business Day article by Daryl Swanepoel Up Feb 05, 2022 Bleak picture for SA The Citizen article by Daryl Swanepoel Up Feb 03, 2022 Preventing corruption is the key Daily News article by Willie Hofmeyr Up Feb 03, 2022 Preventing corruption is the key Cape Argus article by Willie Hofmeyr Up Feb 03, 2022 Preventing corruption is the key IOL article by Willie Hofmeyr Up Feb 02, 2022 Achieving wellbeing equality for South Africans is a dream that should not be deferred Africa Focus article by Anja Smith, Dave Strugnell and Daryl Swanepoel Up Feb 02, 2022 Achieving wellbeing equality for South Africans is a dream that should not be deferred Daily Maverick article by Anja Smith, Dave Strugnell and Daryl Swanepoel Up Jan 27, 2022 Corruption has eroded integrity Cape Argus article by Professor Pregala Solosh Pillay Up Jan 27, 2022 Corruption has eroded integrity IOL article by Professor Pregala Solosh Pillay Up Jan 27, 2022 Corruption has eroded integrity The Star article by Professor Pregala Solosh Pillay Up Jan 27, 2022 Corruption has eroded integrity Daily News article by Professor Pregala Solosh Pillay Up Jan 20, 2022 Anti-corruption agencies need to be nurtured Daily News article by Andrew Spalding Up Jan 20, 2022 Anti-corruption agencies need to be nurtured IOL article by Andrew Spalding Up Jan 20, 2022 Anti-corruption agencies need to be nurtured The Star article by Andrew Spalding Up Jan 20, 2022 Anti-corruption agencies need to be nurtured Cape Argus article by Andrew Spalding Up Jan 13, 2022 No short cuts in fight against graft The Star article by Drago Kos Up Jan 13, 2022 No short cuts in fight against graft Cape Argus article by Drago Kos Up Jan 13, 2022 No short cuts in fight against graft Daily News article by Drago Kos Up Jan 12, 2022 Construction sector itching to team up with government to build SA Business Day article by Daryl Swanepoel Up Jan 6, 2022 Conducting a proper diagnosis Cape Argus article on presentation by Abiola Makinwa Up Jan 6, 2022 Conducting a proper diagnosis Daily News article on presentation by Abiola Makinwa Up Jan 6, 2022 Conducting a proper diagnosis The Star Early Edition article on presentation by Abiola Makinwa Up Up
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Embracing a society that is built on social and national democratic values Public Policy Research & Analysis Democratic Education, Briefings, Seminars & Conferences Publications & Liberation Archive Portal Featured Item Conditions needed in a society to enable it to advance towards a welfare state Our Latest Activities 23 hours ago Release of Occasional Paper The path towards renewal: An ethical, people-driven state Nov 3 Public Engagement ISI attends reception hosted for the President of the Bavarian State Parliament Nov 2 Release of Occasional Paper Contractionary fiscal consolidation vs expansionary fiscal stimulus in the context of SA's budget Up