South Africa: Three Quick and Simple Moves That Could Be Economic Game Changers for South Africa


As President Ramaphosa's government negotiates the near-impossible array of dangerous developments that are delivered daily by the Covid-19 pandemic, the ANC is having important conversations about the future of the economy. Here are some points that could have a long-term positive impact.

While much of the ANC's discussion on the future of the economy has focused on the possibility of changes to pension laws and regulations, there is a crying need for far-reaching changes to the way our economy is managed. There are three big interventions that government could make relatively easily right now:

The introduction of a permanent Basic Income Grant;

The establishment of an "employer of last resort" scheme that would see households being guaranteed some income from work; and

The proper rollout of free, or near-free, high-speed internet.

Unfortunately, only one of those measures is included in the current economic proposals of the ANC, namely, the "employer of last resort".

It's a hugely difficult job to chair the ANC's sub-committee on economic transformation. As Gwede Mantashe put it, "Economics is the very essence of politics", and the ANC is the broadest of broad political churches. This is why the committee has discussed important economic issues only in...

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