Working Paper

Economic Policy in South Africa, Past Present and Future

With the end of Apartheid in 1994 a new beginning was promised for South Africa. Herewith included was political freedom and inclusive development for all South Africans. This overview focusses on the economic record and the economic prospects of post Apartheid South Africa. The record is a mixed one. Many of the basic inequalities in health, education and housing that were the hallmark of Apartheid economics were addressed. Growth is stronger than before and poverty is lower, access to education and health care is much stronger, access to infrastructure services is hugely improved, and a strong social safety net cushions poverty for the very poor. But unemployment remains high, especially among young Africans, and income inequality has increased. Economic growth has been volatile and lacklustre as South Africa has had to cope with the consequences of global crises.