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A blueprint for the rejuvenation of the South African economy - Labour sector input

The Inclusive Society Institute is currently engaging various economic sectors as part of its extensive economic research project, which will culminate in a comprehensive ‘Blueprint for rejuvenating South Africa’s economy’. In a series of dialogues, the various sectoral stakeholders and policymakers are engaged in seeking answers to the all-important questions aimed at gaining an understanding, from the particular sector’s perspective, as to what the country needs to correct policy wise, and what new initiatives / policies should be introduced to shift the economy onto a higher growth trajectory.

In the constructive dialogue with labour, which was held 15 February 2022, some important issues raised, including, amongst others:

  • An acknowledgement that the economy is in crisis and needed all hands-on deck to place it onto a new growth trajectory.

  • There were problems with the current macro-economics, which, in the view of labour, relied too heavily on neo-liberal values.

  • There needs to be greater focus on positioning South Africa as a developmental state.

  • The state is failing, or at least failing to implement policy. And the continual shifting of ideology is not helpful.

  • Public policymakers need a wake-up call with regard to the state of social cohesion in the country.

  • On corruption, there was a strong feeling that “the crooks must be jailed”, and that those from the political establishment need to be prioritised so as to set the example and create investment confidence.

  • The place of immigrants in the economy needs to be thoroughly considered.

  • Localisation and circulation of the Rand within the country was now more crucial than ever.

  • The tax-system needs to be re-looked. Are the rich sufficiently taxed? Is there space for targeted solidarity taxes?

  • Don’t keep changing policies every five years. Policy certainty is needed.

  • There needs to be balancing between the needs of the financial sector and that of the real economy, for example, credit allocation to emerging manufacturing firms.

  • Urgent policing of infrastructure is needed.

Take home message: Dealing with the economic woes as a matter of urgency. Either leadership must do it, or society will do it for them.


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