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30 September 2021

Macroeconomic policy dialogue on South Africa’s long-term economic policy options beyond 2021

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Macroeconomic policy dialogue on South Africa’s long-term economic policy options beyond 2021

Pretoria, Wednesday 29 September 2021 –  South Africa’s economic crisis pre-dates COVID-19. Over the last 25 years, the real per capita GDP has grown at a dismal annual rate of 0.64%, the unemployment rate has been consistently above 20%, about half of the country’s population have been living in poverty, and income inequality has continuously increased. The economic policy framework that was adopted in 1996 and has since informed policies bears significant responsibility for these outcomes and the overall failed economic transformation. 

As the country plans for the post-Covid-19 and post-July-2021 unrest, the Human Sciences Research Council’s (HSRC) Inclusive Economic Development (IED) research division will host a Macroeconomic Policy Dialogue to discuss South Africa’s long-term economic policy options beyond 2021. The online dialogue will be held on Thursday, 30 September 2021 from 16h00 to 18h00. 

The dialogue will seek to unpack the following questions: 

•What will the recovery look like and mean to South Africans beyond 2021? 

•Will the post-2021 recovery mean a return to the weak economic performance of the past 25 years with the benefits of growth mainly going to the top layer of the population?

•Will the recovery mean departing from the country’s chronic crisis and realising pro-poor inclusive outcomes?

This analysis tries to answer these questions by first unpacking the link between South Africa’s triple crises of unemployment, poverty and inequality and the adopted economic policy framework from the mid-1990s. 

It will then use economic modelling techniques to answer the following questions: 

•What will be the likely economic outlook if the recovery plan continues with the post-1996 economic policy framework? 

•What if the state reconsiders the post-1996 economic policy framework, what policy road map is likely to put the economy on a pro-poor inclusive path? 

The presentation will elaborate on the economic policy scenario under each question (which includes a six-pillar policy reform proposal) and compare the likely growth and development outcomes of each scenario over the next 10 years using the Applied Development Research Solutions linked macro-micro model of South Africa.

This is the third in a series of HSRC macroeconomic policy dialogues, with two more scheduled before the end of 2021. HSRC would like to open these dialogues widely, to promote evidence-informed solutions to diverse macroeconomic puzzles that hinder transformational development in South Africa, the African continent and beyond. Dialogues also aim to strengthen cooperation with policy practitioners, academia and non-governmental stakeholders.

Details of the Webinar

Date:30 September 2021

Time:16h00 – 18h00

Zoom Link:

For 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 organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

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This seminar is partially funded by the Department of Science and Innovation. The views and opinions expressed therein as well as findings and statements of the seminar series do not necessarily represent the views of the DSI. Please note that this seminar will be recorded and published on the HSRC podcast channel. The HSRC complies with the South African PoPIA and the Electronic Communications Transactions Act of 2002 Section 45: (1) any person who sends unsolicited commercial communications to stakeholders, must provide the stakeholders with the option to cancel their subscription to that mailing list. To opt-out or unsubscribe from this mailing list, please email us at

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