News & events


17 August 2021

Reimagine Developmental Fiscal Policy Says Eminent Macroeconomist

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Professor Michael Sachs recently delivered a thought-provoking speech as the eminent guest speaker in our second Macroeconomic Policy Dialogue series.

Structural socioeconomic crises and recessions, Prof Sachs demonstrated with the aid of copious statistics, have intensified the conflicts among paradigms in macroeconomics. His animated presentation set the scene for a lively exchange of ideas for about 2 hours. Against the backdrop of assessing growing disagreements in macroeconomic theories and policy practices,

Professor Sachs cautioned South African authorities against copying policy prescripts from elsewhere. He did not only call into question the one-size-fits-all mantra in neoliberal macroeconomic thinking but also used his abundant data to debunk myths about economic growth, monetary and fiscal policies prominent in South Africa. How to reimagine fiscal policy as a vehicle to achieve South Africa’s elusive developmental targets quickly shifted to the epicentre of the debate.

As with our February 2021 dialogue, an inspiring discussant helped to electrify debates throughout the ‘webinar’. The discussant, Ms Busi Sibeko, brought her own critical voice to bear on the debate, adding a fresh perspective and substantial depth to what ought to be at the top of South Africa’s fiscal policy agenda.

To illustrate her macroeconomic policy alternatives, Ms Sibeko unpacked how the state spent its R500bn stimulus package and how far government fell short of investing in meaningful livelihood support, such as a Basic Income Grant (BIG). 

Link to Youtube View of Macroeconomic Policy Dialogue #2:




Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Related Articles