Mail & Guardian - Lisa Steyn 26 May 2016
City Press - Dewald Van Rensburg 22 May 2016
BusinessTech 18 May 2016
Business Report - 18 may 2016
The New Age - 17 May 2016
The latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) reported that the country lost a total of 355 000 jobs from the last quarter of 2015 to the first quarter of 2016, for an astonishing 2,2% decline in a single quarter. But the figures seem unreliable, due at least in part to the shift to a new master sample. The data likely reflect an effective correction to overestimates of job creation in the previous four quarters, rather than a sharp contraction in the real world. Year on year, employment reportedly rose by 204 000 or 1,3%, which is essentially in line with previous years and with expected GDP growth.
A new policy brief by Neva Makgetla, TIPS Programme Manager: Trade and Industry, unpacks the figures. While it is likely that employment creation has been affected by the broader economic slowdown, the sharp job losses reported for the first quarter of 2016 seem highly unlikely.
Policy interventions at national and international scales are driving efforts to simultaneously reduce greenhouse gas emissions and provide sustainable socio-economic improvements. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is one such policy instrument implemented through the Kyoto Protocol under the international climate change regime. Questions remain particularly around how socio-economic development can be achieved and, more importantly, how these policy approaches play out on the ground in the lives of those they affect.
This paper presents a case study, focusing on the impact of a skills development component of the Kuyasa CDM project, in Cape Town, South Africa. It investigates two specific aspects of the project, highlighting challenges for CDM projects to achieve their desired socio-economic outcomes. Findings indicate that formal accreditation is not, in all cases, found to be beneficial to the lives of those living in Kuyasa. At the same time, many benefits are drawn from the experience of productive work but these are not acknowledged. Implications for expectation management and more appropriate interventions are outlined, including understanding the multi-dimensional impact of the experience of training and employment. Finally, reflections are provided on how CDM projects could contribute to effective skills development.
This paper falls under the TIPS Small Grant Research Papers annual Peet du Plooy Small Grant for Sustainability, launched in 2013, given for economic research on issues pertaining to the green economy and climate change.
In 2014, South Africa remained one of the most unequal countries in the world, an outlier by global standards in terms of both overall inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient and levels of joblessness. For proponents of industrialisation as central to long-term development, this situation raises two questions. First, how does manufacturing as presently constituted affect employment and the distribution of income and assets directly and indirectly? Second, is the traditional industrial-policy paradigm sufficiently geared to supporting inclusive growth?
These questions are explored in this working paper by Neva Makgetla, TIPS Trade and Industrial Policy Programme Manager.
In 2012, South Africa remains faced with the triple developmental challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality. In addition, the country's current economic growth model is heavily resource and energy-intensive, aggravating pressures on the environment and the threat of climate change. The transition to a green economy, stemming from the concept of sustainable development, has been internationally recognised as a ground-breaking way forward, combining economic development, social welfare and environmental protection.
South Africa is in a unique position to exploit the emergence of green economic development in the world. The country's renewable resources abundance (solar and wind predominantly) and biodiversity positions it to play a leading role in the Southern African region and in Africa. In addition, if supported by an enabling environment, green sectors have the potential to foster South African growth and employment, as well as the shift to sustainable development.
In the face of a long-standing unemployment crisis that increasingly threatens social and economic stability, employment has at last taken centre stage in South African policy, and with this, a focus on the structural constraints on employment creation within the economy. The New Growth Path, approved by Cabinet in November 2010, starts to tackle these issues. Its emphasis on inclusive growth places issues of distribution more clearly on the agenda than they have been; and the Competition Commission has become poor consumers' knight in shining armour, tackling collusion and highlighting the negative economic (and employment) consequences of South Africa's highly centralized core economy.
Emigration of highly skilled people has become an increasing concern in South Africa. While it is uncontested that such emigration can have detrimental effects in the form of a brain drain, this policy brief argues that South Africa could also draw some benefits from this emigration. It recommends that the country resumes its efforts to tap into the huge potential offered by its expatriate communities.
Youth unemployment is extremely high in South Africa, approximately double the national rate. While this is not uncommon internationally, it poses a special problem in South Africa where at least half of young school leavers are unlikely to find work before the age of 24. In many other countries, the youth unemployment problem sits on the margins and is not experienced by the majority. This poses very serious concerns in respect of social and economic integration.
Higher rates of economic growth will ultimately be the answer to this problem. If the SA economy were growing at 6% or 7% pa, this unemployment problem would visibly diminish. Over the past decade, youth from the age of 20 are just as likely to get work as other age groups. Those in the age group of 24 35 are more likely to get work than the average. The problem is that the actual quantum of job creation is simply too small. This rate of job creation is likely to slow from 2008 as a result of the global economic crisis, as well as a range of domestic problems such as electricity shortages.
What if unemployed people in South Africa had a right – a real right – to a minimum level of regular work on decent terms? In 2005, India passed a law guaranteeing rural households up to 100 days of work per annum, at minimum wage rates. Over 55 million households now participate in the programme. Real policy innovation able to change society in significant ways is rare. India's employment guarantee is an innovation of this magnitude, with implications for social and economic policy, and for the role of the state as employer of last resort where markets fail. In the process, India has given new meaning to the concept of a right to work – opening new policy doors for all of us. This paper analyses the context of structural unemployment in marginal areas in South Africa, briefly describes India's employment guarantee programme, explores the rationale for an employment guarantee in South Africa – and considers lessons from the Community Work Programme on how such a guarantee could work in practise. What if unemployed people in South Africa had a right – a real right – to a minimum level of regular work on decent terms?
Joint report from Industrial Development Corporation, Development Bank of Southern Africa and TIPS
In its recent green economy study, UNEP9 concluded that environmental sustainability and economic progress are not opposing forces and that significant benefits will flow from the greening of the world's economies. Greening generates increases in wealth, measured in classical terms of higher growth in gross domestic product (GDP) – even in poorer or developing countries – as well as in the form of ecological gains due to positive impacts on the natural capital of ecosystems and biodiversity. An important synergy exists between poverty eradication (ensuring food supply, water, energy and health, as well as support to subsistence farmers) and enhanced conservation of natural capital.
The green economy could be an extremely important trigger and lever for enhancing a country's growth potential and redirecting its development trajectory in the 21st century. A burgeoning green economy will reflect a clear expansion of productive capacity and service delivery across many existing areas of economic activity, and the introduction of numerous new activities in the primary, secondary and tertiary sectors.
This should be evidenced by substantial investment activity in conventional and non-traditional activities, meaningful employment creation, sustaining competitiveness in a world that is increasingly determined to address adverse climate change trends, and by opportunities for export trade, among others.
The imperative of stabilising greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations in the atmosphere within particular boundaries, so as to contain atmospheric warming trends and other associated forms of climate change, is leading to discernible behavioural change in societies around the world, and to the consideration of (or a commitment to) specific national targets.
On top of this, there is a “growing threat of increasing 'eco-protectionism' from advanced industrial countries in the form of tariff and non-tariff measures such as carbon taxes and restrictive standards”. Such trends are proving to be a powerful force for the evolution of a green economy to protect biodiversity, address adverse climate change trends, pollution and unsustainable resource use.
Having a vibrant production base is the foundation of economic prosperity. The more goods a country produces the more jobs are created. The specialisation resulting from the production of goods tends to result in newer technologies and higher levels of income, which leads to even higher growth.
There is little doubt that the services sector is an important driver of this economic growth and development. A vibrant services sector, nationally and globally, mainly emanates from the product market.
Session 4A: Is Informal Normal in Low Income Countires? If So, What Does this Mean for Development Policy?
Session 8B the Global Financial Crisis - Micro Impacts
Session 8B: The Global Financial Crisis - Marco Impacts
Session 8A: Wage Dynamics
Session 8A: Wage Dynamics