To boost economic activity and access to services, SA needs to invest far more in infrastructure — such as transport projects — and ensure the programmes yield value for money in the long term, the authors say.
What a difference a year makes.
We’ve become disillusioned and almost numb to the years of corruption and fruitless expenditure across government departments, feeding into a confidence crisis that has tripped up efforts to propel economic growth, despite the Covid-19 pandemic.
The growing unease at the lack of progress in the vaccine rollout was somewhat eased by this week’s announcement that Johnson & Johnson will produce 30-million vaccines for the country.
More than a decade has passed since the last infrastructure-led boom in the SA economy, one fuelled by the need to prepare for the Fifa World Cup and to urgently begin expanding our electricity generation capacity.
If ever we needed reminding of the electricity challenges that we still face as we head into our colder months, the return of load-shedding over the past few weeks was just it.
The confidence-sapping news of yet another delay in the auction of spectrum for telecommunications operators highlights yet another area of concern in South Africa’s pursuit of structural reforms: the limitations of SA’s key regulatory institutions.
After almost three years of hearing testimony at Judge Raymond Zondo’s judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, there can be little arguing that the most difficult job in the cabinet today is that of turning around the prospects of many of our ailing state-owned enterprises.
While we entered 2021 under the cloud of a second wave of Covid-19 infections, the economic news so far has been much better than most of us could have expected.
We can’t rebuild the capacity of the state without holding political office bearers and public servants to greater levels of accountability.
If South Africa is to fully recover from the effects of Covid-19 and the economy is recast for inclusive growth, we are going to need a capable state.
Of all the structural fault-lines in the SA economy, the decades-long rise in joblessness has been our most difficult to overcome. The pandemic has worsened the jobs crisis, as was showed this week.