Trade and Industry

A Review Of The Changing Composition Of The South African Economy

  • Year: 2003
  • Organisation: TIPS
  • Publication Author(s): TIPS
  • Countries and Regions: South Africa
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South Africa has experienced significant liberalisation during the 1990s on the political as well as economic front. Starting with the first democratic elections in 1994, the economy has undergone liberalisation of internal and external financial markets, labour markets and trade regime. Major changes have also taken place in terms of monetary and fiscal policy, where discipline and sustainability have become the guiding principles, while industrial policy saw a shift from demand-side to supply-side measures. Whether these policy choices have resulted in higher levels of efficiency and more importantly better economic performance and equity will remain the subject of economic research for years to come, notably because the structure of any economy does not change overnight. While some of the liberalisation efforts started before the 1990s, a number of them took place during the middle of the decade. Although perhaps still somewhat premature, an examination of the South African economy during both halves of the decade is perhaps a worthwhile exercise.