News & events

Press Releases

16 February 2021

Dialogue to uncover policy options for sustainable and equitable macroeconomic reconstruction and recovery beyond COVID-19

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Monday 15 February 2021 – In his 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined a bold and ambitious set of priorities such as defeating COVID-19, accelerating the economy, implementing economic reforms to drive growth and jobs, and fighting corruption. This four-point plan for the future of South Africa underscores the urgency of an in-depth ‘macroeconomics of reconstruction and recovery’ discussion, an open societal conversation about the how the state of the macroeconomy intersects with these priorities.

In light of these commitments by the President and the current economic conditions in South Africa, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) will host a dialogue to discuss policy options existing for sustainable and equitable macroeconomic reconstruction and recovery beyond COVID-19. 

The webinar will be held on Wednesday, 17 February 2021 at 11h00.

The event is part of a new HSRC initiative which promotes evidence-informed solutions to diverse macroeconomic puzzles that hinder transformational development in South Africa, Africa and beyond. The dialogue is aimed at strengthening cooperation with policy practitioners, academia and non-governmental stakeholders. 

According to the HSRC’s Dr Peter Jacobs, “South Africa’s effort to lift itself out of the pandemic-induced macroeconomic crisis is a societal debate with knock-on effects, that are likely to last for years if not decades to come.” 

“The depth and scale of the macroeconomic contraction (with the SA 2020 growth rate expected to average at -7,5%) will cut fiscal resources available for equitable socioeconomic priorities,” said Dr Jacobs. 

Recent National Treasury statements also warn of a looming sovereign debt crisis that calls for rethinking long-term adjustments in how the state allocates its limited fiscal resources. 

The dialogue panel will include Dr Alexis Habiyaremye, former senior research specialist in the HSRC’s Inclusive Economic Development research division, Dr Seeraj Mohamed, a macroeconomics expert on financialisation, and Dr Gilad Isaacs, Co-director at the Institute for Economic Justice.

The discussant will be Prof Fiona Tregenna, DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development and a Professor of Economics at the University of Johannesburg.

The panellists and discussant will share new solutions-oriented insights on topics such as:

•Macroeconomic stimulus for structural change and solidarity funding

•Pro-employment macroeconomic policy frameworks

•Macroeconomic reconstruction and recovery in the age of financialisation

Join us as we unpack the implications of a prolonged COVID-19 depression for the government’s latest economic crisis response plan (Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan) and the longer-term national development plan (Vision 2030).

This webinar can only be accessed via this Zoom link: Please download Zoom and register beforehand. 

Details of the Webinar

Date:17 February 2021

Time:11h00 to 13h00

Zoom Link:

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact Adziliwi Nematandani, 0827659191, email:


About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences. 

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

Join the conversation at:

Related Press Releases