Economy

Karel | Nov 20, 2018
The Southern African Development Community III – Education And Labour Market
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2021

The Southern African Development Community is made up of sixteen countries and all countries on the continent with territory below five degrees south. The fifteen other countries are linked to South Africa in many ways and constitute our ‘near abroad’. South Africans should know more about them than they often do, and the purpose of this brief series is to set the current state of development in its various aspects: demographic, economic, political and social. This brief focuses on the region’s rates of education and it labour market.

The Southern African Development Community II – Economy: Levels, Growth, Structure, Income Distribution And Happiness
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2021

The Southern African Development Community is made up of sixteen countries and all countries on the continent with territory below five degrees south. The fifteen other countries are linked to South Africa in many ways and constitute our ‘near abroad’. South Africans should know more about them than they often do, and the purpose of this brief series is to set the current state of development in its various aspects: demographic, economic, political and social. This brief focusses on the region’s economy – in particular, its growth, structure, income distribution and levels of happiness among its population.

The Southern African Development Community I – Population
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2021

The Southern African Development Community is made up of sixteen countries and all countries on the continent with territory below five degrees south. The fifteen other countries are linked to South Africa in many ways and constitute our ‘near abroad’. South Africans should know more about them than they often do, and the purpose of this brief series is to set the current state of development in its various aspects: demographic, economic, political and social. This brief focusses on the region’s population dynamics, namely the evolution of population size and its age structure, as determined by fertility, mortality and migration.

How Will The Health System Cope Over The Next Four Years?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the fourth of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief deals with commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure on health financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of this brief.

Health Expenditure In The 2019/20 Financial Year
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the third of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief deals with commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure on health financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. This brief sets out the information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Local Government Impact On Health - What Do We Know?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the second of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. The first brief discusses commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. This brief considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Occupational Health And Safety And Fund Payments For Treatment Of Injury And Disease - What Do We Know?
Charles Simkins
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Jun 15, 2021

This is the first of a four brief series on health expenditure in the public and private sectors. It discusses commonly ignored components of health expenditure: provision in workplaces, and medical expenditure financed from the Compensation Fund and the Road Accident Fund. The second considers the impact of local government on health. The third brief sets out information on the pattern of health expenditure from 1 April 2019 to the 31 March 2020. This forms the baseline for examining the implications of the 2021 Budget for health expenditure over the medium term, the topic of the fourth brief.

Why Is Burger King Proving a Hard Sell?
Christopher Fisher
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Jun 14, 2021

This brief explores the legal basis for the Competition Commission prohibiting the purchase of Burger King by Emerging Capital Partners, and argues that it was borne out of an incorrect interpretation of the Competition Act.

Output, Employment, The Minimum Wage And Covid-19
Charles Simkins
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Jun 10, 2021

This brief advances an explanation of the divergence between the growth of output and the growth of employment, between the first quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2021. In a brief published on 6 April 2021, I argued that the explanation lay in new methods of data collection – here I advance another explanation.

What Can We Expect From The Economy In 2021?
Charles Simkins
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May 11, 2021

This brief explores what economic drivers lie behind the economic growth projections from various international organisations, South African official sources and South African commercial banks.

Understanding Cronyism
Zeenat Emmamally
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Apr 21, 2021

This brief examines cronyism as a subtype of corruption, and argues, using the executive ethics code as an example, that frameworks do not adequately safeguard against cronyism.

Has Statistics South Africa Under-Estimated The Employment Recovery?
Charles Simkins
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Apr 06, 2021

Many commentators have argued that the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a sharp increase in the unemployment rate, relying solely on Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS). But the QLFS is not the only source of information on the labour market. This brief considers the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the labour market by reviewing data from Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly Employment Statistics and national accounts, as well as the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey.

The Silence of the Constitutionalists
Matthew Kruger
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Mar 26, 2021

In this brief, Matthew Kruger reflects on the suspension of democratic power and subordination of transformative goals during the last year of lockdown. After touching on the failures of our major political parties, Parliament and the media to comprehend or resist this reality, he turns his attention to civil society. In the face of this 365-day deferral of the Constitution, why have so many of our NGOs and lawyers kept silent?

Whom The Gods Would Destroy They First Make Mad
Charles Simkins
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Mar 24, 2021

How to achieve redistribution with growth in a period of economic decline is difficult and the beginning of wisdom is to avoid actions which make things worse rather than better. The purpose of this brief is to identify some of them.

Service Delivery in South Africa at a Glance
Chelsea Ramsden
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Mar 17, 2021

Against the backdrop of recent discussions on service delivery in the Kgetlengrivier Local Municipality this brief will examine current reactions to service delivery failures and possible actions that aggrieved residents may take.

Alternative Proposals For Electing Constituency Representatives In A Mixed System
Charles Simkins
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Mar 09, 2021

This brief considers three proposals on the table for a mixed member proportional (MMP) electoral system for consideration by the National Assembly’s Home Affairs Portfolio Committee, and makes the point that advocacy of an MMP system does not, in itself, settle all the details which will needed to be considered in the process of electoral reform.

Third Quarter Production And Employment Statistics - Some Puzzles
Charles Simkins
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Jan 14, 2021

This is the final Brief in the series with all the statistical information about production and employment in the third quarter having now been published. This Brief focuses on puzzles which arise when all the sources are considered together.

The Era of Pandemics: Tomorrow's Forever Wars
Matthew Kruger
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Dec 09, 2020

We are now more than 250 days into our 21-day lockdown, with Ramaphosa and his Command Council claiming for themselves the power to legislate every aspect of our lives until the invisible enemy is beaten, or maybe even longer, as their rhetoric about the new normal suggests. In asserting this power in their war on the virus, they resemble another executive in a different, still-ongoing war against an equally invisible enemy: the US war on terror.

Human Settlements In The Metros
Charles Simkins
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Dec 04, 2020

This Brief discusses the Department of Human Settlements’ proposed re-orientation of its policies.

The July To September Quarterly Labour Force Survey
Charles Simkins
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Dec 03, 2020

Production in the South African economy has bounced back quite sharply since July. This Brief explores what the Quarterly Labour Force Survey tells us about employment and unemployment in the third quarter.

September Production, Rates Of Profit And Loanable Funds
Charles Simkins
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Dec 03, 2020

This Brief updates our understanding of the economy and how it has bounced back. It also considers trends in profitability since the beginning 2014, and finally discusses financial flows within the economy.

Foreign Nationals In Gauteng’s Informal Retail Sector
Charles Collocott
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Nov 24, 2020

This brief looks at some important facts behind the informal retail sector, specifically with regards to competition between local and foreign traders, and asks whether the Gauteng government’s current hostile stance towards foreign nationals in the Gauteng Township Economic Development Bill will help or hinder South Africans.

The Political Economy Of The Economic Reconstruction And Recovery Plan
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2020

The government’s economic policy cards are on the table. Government policy attempts to achieve two goals simultaneously: to ward off an impending fiscal crisis and to improve investment to the point where it can underpin a respectable rate of economic growth. Both need urgent attention. The political economy question is this: can a coalition of interests be maintained to sustain the policy for several years?

Financing Government Debt
Charles Simkins
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Nov 05, 2020

The Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, tabled in Parliament on 28 October 2020, projects that the government will need to issue above 50% more short-term and long-term domestic debt in 2020/21 than in 2019/20. In this Brief Charles Simkins considers if the targets can be met and what the macroeconomic implications of doing so would be.

How Coherent Are The 2020 Production And Labour Market Data? II - The Main Issues
Charles Simkins
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Nov 04, 2020

This brief compares production and labour market estimates from different sources. Some of the work has already been done in previous briefs and this will be referred to, with a brief summary of findings. In order not to clutter the exposition of new comparisons, supporting tables are placed in the annexure to the brief.

How Coherent Are The 2020 Production And Labour Market Data? I - The Basis For Assessment
Charles Simkins
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Nov 04, 2020

The preceding briefs in this series have drawn on a number of sources to assess the evolution of the economy during 2020. These data sources have been compiled for different purposes and to a great extent independently of one another. Yet they overlap and their findings can be compared. The questions arise: How coherent are the data from these sources? What judgements can be made after all the sources have been considered? What uncertainties and puzzles remain?

Electoral Reform And The Political System: The Helen Suzman’s Points Of Departure
Charles Simkins
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Oct 01, 2020

The first three briefs in this series establish three main points. The first is that the New Nation case requires electoral reform, the second is that electoral reform may not infringe the constitution, and the third is there are political systemic choices to be made by Parliament about the electoral system within constitutional constraints. This brief sets out the Helen Suzman Foundation’s points of departure at the level of the political system.

Electoral Reform: Are The Electoral Task Team’s “Core Values” Still Relevant?
Catherine Kruyer
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Oct 01, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation is producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections, this series will examine the road ahead at the policy, legislative, and institutional level. This brief, the third in our series, will reconsider the core values for an electoral system identified by the Electoral Task Team in 2003.

The April To June Quarterly Labour Force Survey: A Cautionary Note
Charles Simkins
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Sep 30, 2020

The April to June Quarterly Labour Force Survey has appeared. While the HSF commends Stats SA for finally producing it (there were two delays in publication). The HSF cautions that this survey is less reliable than its predecessors for reasons which Charles Simkins elucidates.

Electoral Reform: Constitutional Constraints On The Design Of Our Electoral System
Catherine Kruyer
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Sep 29, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation is producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections, this series will examine the road ahead from the policy, legislative and institutional perspectives. This brief, the second in our series, will explore the constitutional constraints on our electoral system.

Electoral Reform: Understanding the New Nation Movement case
Kimera Chetty
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Sep 29, 2020

The Helen Suzman Foundation will be producing a series of briefs on electoral reform in South Africa. Following the landmark decision of the Constitutional Court to allow independent candidates to contest national and provincial elections,this series will examine the road ahead from the policy, legislative and institutional perspectives. This brief, the first in our series, will explore the reasoning of the Court and consider the implications of the judgment.

July Production Statistics: An Indication Of A V-Shaped Recovery?
Charles Simkins and Charles Collocott
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Sep 28, 2020

Statistics South Africa publishes monthly production statistics for mining, manufacturing, electricity distributed, the five components of trade, catering and accommodation and two components of trade, storage and communication. The July 2020 estimates have now been published. Gross domestic product statistics have been published for the first two quarters of 2020. What do these estimates reveal about economic recovery since the Level 5 lock down?

The Implications Of The Second Quarter 2020 Gross Domestic Product Data
Charles Simkins
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Sep 11, 2020

Dr Simkins highlights that the StatsSA announcement on 8 September of a 51% fall in GDP is misleading in the light of a sharp, temporary shock to the economy as a result of the COVID-19 epidemic. The Brief discusses information from the GDP data about the distribution of the burden of the shock. Further analysis of the distribution will become possible when the Quarterly Employment Statistics and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey are published in late October.

Austerity And A Permanent Income Shock
Charles Simkins
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Jul 15, 2020

This brief distinguishes between a policy of austerity and the fact of a permanent decline in per capita income, arguing that South Africa should adapt to a drop of real per capita income of 7 to 10% since 2014. It considers the trajectory of monetary and fiscal policy in this light.

The Adjustment Budget And Beyond
Charles Simkins
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Jun 30, 2020

Charles Simkins reviews the Supplementary Budget. A brutal affair. The Zuma legacy and misfortune have made it so.

The Coronavirus And The Economy
Charles Simkins
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Apr 01, 2020

In this brief, Charles Simkins suggests principles to guide thinking about the relationship between the epidemic and the economy.

Foreign Nationals In The Informal Retail Sector
Charles Collocott
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Aug 19, 2019

This brief looks at some important facts behind foreign nationals in the informal retail sector, and asks whether government’s current hostile stance on the matter, as voiced by the Minister of Small Business Development, will help or hinder South Africans.

The Economy: Adapt or Die III - The Long Term
Charles Simkins
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Jul 10, 2019

The first brief in this series considered economic priorities leading up to the 2020 Budget. The second brief discussed priorities for the following two years. This, the final brief, proposes initiatives over the longer term.

Recent ANC Comments on Prescribed Assets for Financial Institutions - Brief II of II
Charles Collocott
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Jul 01, 2019

This is the second Brief of two that looks prescribed assets, as touted by the ANC. It looks at the potential consequences and finishes with a conclusion. The first Brief introduced us to the idea of prescribed assets; why the idea has been tabled by the ANC; the history of prescribed assets and the lessons learned; is it required to cause private sector investment into government projects; and is it lawful?

Recent ANC Comments on Prescribed Assets for Financial Institutions - Brief I of II
Charles Collocott
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Jul 01, 2019

This is the first Brief of two, introducing the idea of prescribed assets: why it has been raised within the ANC, the history of prescribed assets in South Africa and the lessons learned; is it required for private sector investment into government projects and is it lawful? The second Brief looks at the potential consequences and finishes with a conclusion.

Monetary Policy
Charles Simkins
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Jun 13, 2019

In this brief, Charles Simkins examines the Reserve Bank's approach to monetary policy.

Debt - the millstone around Eskom’s neck
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 10, 2019

This brief analyses the magnitude of the problem posed by Eskom’s massive debt, coupled with the lack of information on what is being done about it.

Two innovations in the 2019 Budget
Charles Simkins
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Feb 27, 2019

We confine our comments on the 2019 Budget to its two major innovations: the approach to state owned enterprises and the early retirement scheme for public servants.

Budget Challenges III: Revenue And Expenditure
Charles Collocott
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Feb 18, 2019

This is the third of three briefs on the challenges to be faced in the presentation of the 2019 Budget on 20 February. It deals with revenue and expenditure. The first brief discussed the economic environment and the second discussed public debt.

Budget Challenges II: Public Debt
Charles Collocott
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Feb 18, 2019

This is the second of three briefs on the challenges to be faced in the presentation of the 2019 Budget on 20 February. The first brief dealt with the economic environment surrounding the Budget. This brief deals with the problem of public debt. The third brief will deal with government revenue and expenditure and their policy implications.

Budget Challenges I: The Economic Environment
Charles Collocott
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Feb 18, 2019

This is the first of three briefs on the challenges to be faced in the presentation of the 2019 Budget on 20 February. It deals with the global and local economic environment. The second brief will discuss public debt and the third will deal with government revenue and expenditure and their policy implications.

Should The National Development Plan Be Revised?
Charles Simkins
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Feb 05, 2019

National Development Plans are revised periodically, often at five year intervals. Although our 'National Development Plan 2030' (NDP) was launched in 2012, it has not been revised. This brief shows that the illusion that the goals of the NDP are achievable cannot be sustained for a minute. A rethink is due.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief V
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the final brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at why the BRICS Bank was not used, on what basis government is able to refuse disclosing further information on the loans, and finishes with a conclusion for the series.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief IV
Charles Collocott
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Jan 24, 2019

This is the fourth brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it is a summary of the lessons learned from the experiences of the six countries analysed, which have also taken on Chinese debt.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief III
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the third brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Zambia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief II
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the second brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China; it looks at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt, namely Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Argentina.

China’s Loans to South Africa - Brief I
Charles Collocott
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Jan 22, 2019

This is the first brief in a series of five that takes a look at South Africa’s recent loans from China. This brief is an overview of South Africa’s debt situation, how the loans from China fit into this, and why we need to look at the experiences other countries have had with Chinese debt.

The National Assembly’s Finance Standing Committee Fakes It
Charles Simkins
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Aug 22, 2018

On 14 August 2018, representatives of the World Bank presented their ‘systematic country diagnostic’ report entitled An incomplete transition: Overcoming the legacy of exclusion to the National Assembly’s Finance Standing Committee.

The Davis Tax Committee Wealth Tax Report - An Overview
Charles Collocott
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Jul 26, 2018

In anticipation of the Davis Tax Committee Wealth Tax Report, the HSF published a series of briefs last year on a wealth tax and whether it was viable method to raise revenue in South Africa. In March this year the Davis Tax Committee published its report on the matter, which this brief considers in the light of the HSF’s work.

Eskom’s 2018 Financial Results
Anton van Dalsen
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Jul 24, 2018

This brief provides a commentary on the main features of Eskom’s 2018 annual financial statements, released on 23 July 2018.

Can we start the long haul now?
Charles Simkins
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Jul 12, 2018

We live in a vertiginous age, in a Dadaesque social and political world. Can the ground be prepared for economic recovery in this politically unstable environment?

Reflections on the Minimum Wage Bill
Jade Tess Weiner
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Jun 13, 2018

This brief considers the current status of the National Minimum Wage Bill, its limitations and whether its impact will achieve its intended purpose – to advance economic development and social justice.

The PIC and GEPF - An Update
Charles Collocott
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Apr 18, 2018

This brief is a follow up on the PIC and GEPF briefs published in the second half of last year. It takes a look at the challenges still facing these organisations in light of the Executive changes and other occurrences that have happened since.

Wealth Taxes VI: Land Tax
Charles Collocott
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Apr 05, 2018

This is the sixth brief of a seven part series and it considers land tax a possible form of wealth tax in South Africa.

Wealth Taxes III: Problems
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the third brief of a seven part series and it deals with the problems with wealth taxes. The first brief provided a conceptual framework and the second dealt with the rationales for a wealth tax.

Wealth Taxes II: Rationales
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the second brief of a six part series and it deals with the rationales for a wealth tax. The first brief provided a conceptual framework, and the third discusses the problems.

Wealth Taxes I: Conceptual Frame
Charles Collocott
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Apr 04, 2018

This is the first brief of a seven part series. It provides a conceptual framework on wealth taxes. The second brief deals with rationales for wealth taxes, and the third discusses the problems with them.

Cape Town Round Table: 6 February 2018 - The Budget, Growth & Debt - Beyond The Political Noise: Structural Change Is Urgently Needed
Rafael Friedman
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Feb 15, 2018

The Helen Suzman Foundation’s Round Table took place surrounded by banners advertising a State of the Nation Address on 8 February that was not delivered. Instead, an ANC process, drawn out for over a week, has resulted in its National Executive Committee recalling Jacob Zuma from his ‘deployment’ as president of the Republic, ending in his resignation on 14 February.

Municipal Consumer Debt
Helen Suzman Foundation
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Feb 13, 2018

This brief considers the latest figures, composition, causes and consequences of South Africa’s municipal consumer debt. It also discusses programmes instituted by government and State Owned Enterprises dealing with current issues around municipal consumer debt.

Structural Adjustment
Charles Simkins
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Dec 05, 2017

The ratings agencies have put South Africa on terms. Everything now depends on the outcome of Moody’s rating review for downgrade, which may not conclude until after the Budget is presented in February 2018.

The Public Protector’s Bankorp Report
Anton van Dalsen
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Jun 22, 2017

This brief by Anton van Dalsen is intended to provide more detail on the recent Public Protector’s report and on some very disturbing aspects that it contains.

THE PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION AND THE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PENSION FUND - AN OVERVIEW
Charles Collocott
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Jun 14, 2017

This Brief by Charles Collocott considers the overall structures of the Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), with a focus on transparency and the framework within which they invest. The need for transparency has been highlighted since the PIC invested over R 1 billion in Independent Media in 2013. The framework for investment is of particular interest since the National Treasury has recently stated that the PIC could possibly become the equity partner in loss-making South African Airways.

Reflections on the Downgrades by the Ratings Agencies
Agathe Fonkam
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May 23, 2017

This brief is a summary of the most recent decisions taken by the credit ratings agencies on South Africa's credit rating following the cabinet reshuffle in March this year. Standard and Poor's and Fitch downgraded the countries foreign currencies to non-investment grade, while Moody's has put the country's sovereign ratings on review for downgrade. The economic implications of the downgrade are evaluated

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS II - THE VALLEY OF TRANSITION
Charles Simkins
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May 05, 2017

The first brief in this series by Charles Simkins considered reactions to the removal of Ministers Gordhan and Jonas, and the consequent ratings downgrade. Not surprisingly, a number of different and incoherent implicit assumptions were found. This brief sets out a framework for a more coherent assessment of the issues at stake.

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS III - IT’S NOT ON TOP, IT’S INSIDE
Charles Simkins
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May 04, 2017

The first brief in this series by Charles Simkins considered reactions to the dismissal of Minister Gordhan and Deputy Minister Jonas, and the downgrades which followed. The second brief outlined a way of thinking systematically about the choices now facing South Africa. This brief will suggest ways in which thinking about transformation can be made more productive and more consistent with support for South African democracy.

AGAINST ECONOMIC RECKLESSNESS I - FIVE ILLUSTRATIVE QUOTES AND THEIR IMPLICATIONS
Charles Simkins
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May 04, 2017

This is the first in a series of three briefs by Charles Simkins. It considers five reactions to the dismissal of Minister Gordhan and Deputy Minister Jonas, and the consequent downgrades. The second brief outlines a framework for understanding the choices now facing South Africa and the third deals with aspects of a route forward for empowerment.

SOUTH AFRICA AND THE RATINGS AGENCIES - II FITCH
Agathe Fonkam
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Sep 08, 2016

The first brief in this series discussed the current view of the South African economy held by Moody’s rating agency. The next brief will set out the position of Standard and Poor's.

SOUTH AFRICA AND THE RATINGS AGENCIES - I MOODY'S
Agathe Fonkam
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Sep 08, 2016

South Africa is in the middle of controversies relating to the SA Revenue Service, the Hawks, the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, the National Treasury, and State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs). There are also serious tensions within the government and the ruling party. South African government bonds have lost money for investors as bond yields have increased. This could get worse if the Minister of Finance is to be replaced by someone who is less trusted by investors. There are conflicts between the National Treasury and the SOEs (for instance Eskom, Denel and South African Airways) all of which revolve around the resistance of the Treasury to finance their respective bailouts. The biggest specialist investor in fixed interest in South Africa, Futuregrowth, has taken the decision to suspend financing any new loans to some SOEs, setting conditions for resumption. A Danish Bank (Jyske Bank) has withdrawn financial support from Eskom. Moreover, the IMF reduced its projections of growth in South Africa between April and July 2016, now expecting growth of 0.1% in 2016 and 1.0% in 2017. These recent developments will have an impact on the rating agencies in their next review. In this series of three briefs, one on each rating agency, an account will be given of how agencies evaluated the South African economy in their most recent reviews. Given the deterioration in outlook, there is serious cause for concern about their next reviews.

Informal Trading in Johannesburg
Amy Meyer
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Mar 17, 2015

Informal Trading has always been a part of South Africa's economy, 30% of which occurs in Gauteng. With an unemployment rate of 25.2%, Informal Trade is, for many South Africans, the "alternative to unemployment", and should be viewed as a way to "address unemployment" and "reduce vulnerability"

The 2015/16 Budget and Development
Eythan Morris
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Feb 26, 2015

This brief focuses on how the Budget proposals impact on development. The short term outlook for economic growth is relatively poor, so a better framework for development is needed to offset resource constraints of the current economic outlook. The Budget speech announced steps to improve investment, including investment in human capital and infrastructure, contain corruption, and lower the burden of regulation.

THE DEPUTY PRESIDENT AND THE MINIMUM WAGE
Charles Simkins
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Nov 10, 2014

The minimum wage issue has been rumbling for some time. The Parliamentary Labour Committee has started hearings on the topic. Business Day reported on 5 November that the Deputy President will chair a committee on the issue which will include six Cabinet Ministers, among them the ministers of labour, economic development and finance. NEDLAC has been given the task of producing a report on the technical aspects of its introduction by July next year.

Let a Hundred Black Industrialists Bloom
Charles Simkins
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Sep 23, 2014

For some time now, the creation of a hundred black industrialists has been on the government’s agenda. It was discussed at the National Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Summit in October 2013. Last month, the Deputy Minister of Trade Industry, Mzwandile Masina, announced that it was to be done in the next three years.

THE SOUTH AFRICAN ECONOMY IN THE SHORT RUN
Charles Simkins
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Jul 29, 2014

Hardly a week goes by without some fresh depressing news about the current state of the South African economy. The Reserve Bank has twice this year reduced its growth forecast for 2014, from 2.8% at the beginning of the year to 2.1% and most recently to 1.7%. It has also reduced its forecasts for 2015 and 2016. Standard and Poor’s and Fitch have downgraded South Africa’s credit rating and Moody’s has put it on negative watch. The Minister of Finance has warned recently that the period ahead will not be easy.

Business Licensing Bill pt. II
Eythan Morris
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May 23, 2013

The proposed Business Licensing Bill, which has been lambasted by critics as draconian and impossible to implement, will be significantly redrafted to take account of public submissions, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies promised last week. This brief examines the new developments.

Business Licensing Bill
Eythan Morris
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May 09, 2013

This Brief summarises some of the aspects of the Business Licensing Bill and considers what it could mean for business. It showcases State and Private Sector views on the Bill and concludes with some comments from the HSF

Social Security and Opportunity: Growing the Economic Cake
Andre Dumon
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Apr 25, 2013

In this brief the concept of increasing social security is looked at as being complimentary rather than opposed to economic growth. The author argues that in order for social security to become more comprehensive in South Africa, it needs to be made more sustainable through increasing economic opportunity so that people may become less dependent on the State for their micro-economic security.

2011-2012 Consolidated General Report on National and Provincial Audit Outcomes
Ashleigh Fraser
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Mar 14, 2013

The South African Auditor-General Terence Nombembe released the 2011-2012 Consolidated General Report on National and Provincial Audit Outcomes on 12 March, 2013. Whilst Nombembe’s address may have come across as being positive, his sentiments were contradicted by many negative audit outcomes. This brief examines the 2011-2012 Report and highlights the weakness of auditees, causing stagnation and regression.

Zimbabwe I - Demography & Economy
Charles Simkins
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This, the first of two briefs examining the prospects for Zimbabwe following the presidential succession, will consider the demographic and economic context. The second brief will discuss the political implications.