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In this edition:
New collaborative research programme on economic transformation and inequality launched

UNU-WIDER launched its newest programme, called Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED), on 30 November 2017 in Pretoria. Together, the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and a number of local partners, will provide an ambitious and comprehensive research and capacity building programme for economic transformation and inclusive growth in southern Africa. South African partner organisations include the National Treasury, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, the South African Revenue Service, and Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS). The SA-TIED programme comprises six thematic work streams: enterprise development for job creation and growth, public revenue mobilisation for inclusive development, macroeconomic modelling for policy formulation, turning the tide on inequality, climate change and energy transition as drivers of change, and regional growth for southern Africa’s prosperity.
Two new working papers have been added
under the programme:
Stock-and-flow-consistent macroeconomic model for South Africa’, by Konstantin Makrelov, Channing Arndt, Rob Davies, and Laurence Harris.
Fiscal multipliers in South Africa: The importance of financial sector dynamics by Konstantin Makrelov, Channing Arndt, Rob Davies, and Laurence Harris.
New research report on Overcoming Poverty and Inequality in South Africa

The World Bank, DPME and Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) released a report Overcoming Poverty and Inequality in South Africa: An assessment of Drivers, Constraints and Opportunities last week. The World Bank country director for SA, Paul Noumba Um, says "Improving the lives of the poor could be achieved through creating quality jobs and providing better earning opportunities through developing skills and raising labour productivity”. But education opportunities are limited as low-income families lack easy access to credit and incur relatively high costs of sending a child to college, the report reads. Living in a household in which the head has attained some tertiary education reduces the average risk of poverty by about 30% compared to those living in households where the head had no schooling. 
Read the full report here.
Jobs Fund 8th call for proposals: Catalysing Inclusive Economic Growth

South African needs much faster and more cost-efficient rates of inclusive economic growth to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment. Achieving the objectives of the National Development Plan will require more effective partnerships between government, business, labour and civil society. The Jobs Fund is pleased to announce the opening of its 8th funding round under the theme: ‘Catalysing Inclusive Economic Growth’. In the context of high unemployment, the Jobs Fund challenges organisations to submit innovative proposals that will catalyse the creation of sustainable jobs. For more information on the new funding round and to access the application form, please visit our website:

Applications close on 24 May 2018 at 15:00.
Youth Employment Service (YES)

President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative on 27 Match 2018. The YES initiative is a collaboration between government and business to provide more than one million year-long paid internships for mainly black South Africans between the ages of 18 and 35.  The programme follows research undertaken by stakeholders which showed that one year of work experience, coupled with a CV and reference letters, increases a young person’s chances of finding employment threefold. At the launch, Ramaphosa was also introduced to the first 100 young people who will be employed at  Absa, Investec, Netcare, Sasol and 
Unilever through the YES programme.
Young adults who wish to be part of the programme will be required to sign a contract with YES indicating their commitment, and must comply with the following requirements:
– be between 18- and 34-years-old.
– must be unemployed for more than 6 months.
– Are black people (African, Coloured or Indian).
– The salary is expected to be set at the national minimum wage level of R3 500 per month and includes associated training and support which on average will bring the cost to R55 000 per annum.
For more information please contact Makano Morojele.
Apply now for the 2018 Public Economics Winter School! 

9 – 13 July 2018
South African Reserve Bank

Applications are now open for the 2018 Winter School, to be held at the South African Reserve Bank on 9–13 July 2018. Applications will close on Monday, 14 May. The annual Winter School is an opportunity to engage with top officials from the National Treasury, young economists from the public and private sectors, postgraduate economics students and, of course, the best economics lecturers in the country! You will be able to discuss the challenging public finance choices facing the country, deepen your knowledge of public economics, and build contacts for the future.
Please read our previous Winter School publications and visit the Public Economics website.
Access the application requirements and the application forms here
Economic expectations and reality in South Africa

Samson Mbewe and Ingrid Woolard’s paper, Cross-sectional features of wealth inequality in South Africa: Evidence from the National Income Dynamics Study’, examines the cross‐sectional distribution of wealth in the country, using survey data from the NIDS for 2010–11 (wave 2) and 2014–15 (wave 4). Wave 2 did not include household assets, but wave 4 did, and the paper determines how inequality indices are affected by the inclusion of these household assets. The research confirms extensive wealth inequality – in both periods, the bottom half of the population owned very little, while the top decile held about 85% of total wealth. The Gini coefficients for the two periods were 0.93 and 0.94 respectively. The results also show the persistence of the large racial gap in wealth. In both periods, a typical black household held less than 5% of the wealth of a typical white household. The life cycle hypothesis holds for these periods, although young people (15–34) accumulated wealth much faster in 2014–15 than in 2010–11. The inequality indices by age group also confirm high wealth inequality within age groups. The distribution of wealth by age cohort likewise suggests that, in each age group, wealth is concentrated in the top 10% of the population, while the bottom 50% own almost nothing.

The latest edition of the South African Journal of Science is now available
online, and featured articles include: 


  • A tribute to storytelling, camaraderie and the Prince Edward Islands
  • Working together for our oceans: A marine spatial plan for Algoa Bay, South Africa
  • Water for sustainable development in the Berg Water Management Area, South Africa
  • System usability scale evaluation of online banking services: A South African study
  • The role of the Square Kilometer Array in South Africa’s economic development strategy.

Brazilian land rights examined

The Climate Policy Initiative’s 2017 report on the Evolution of land rights in rural Brazil: Frameworks for understanding, pathways for improvement is very relevant for South Africa, given the significant parallels between the two countries. Brazil has vast natural resources and is a leading agricultural producer. Secure and well-defined rural property rights are an essential tool for effective natural resource management, as well as for economic growth. Today, however, Brazil lags behind much of the world in providing such rights. In 2016, it ranked 64th on the international property rights index. It ranked even lower, at 80th, for secure property rights on the World Economic Forum’s global competitive index. This report investigates the implications of insecure land rights, which reverberate well beyond land management to include land-related conflicts, deforestation, underdeveloped land rental markets, and ineffcient investment decisions in property.
Closer to home it is interesting to read the “Resolution on Land Redistribution ” (see page 31) formulated at the 54th ANC National Conference held in December 2017, and for an overview of South Africa’s land reform history Professor Johann Kirsten’s paper “Reflections on 25 Years of engagement with the land question” is recommended.

The South Cape Economic Partnership recently hosted a regional investment conference for the Garden Route, along with the members of the partnership. Presentations and media reports are available on the conference webpage.

Much has happened since the release of the World Inequality Report 2018 in December 2017 and the organisation of the first conference at the Paris School of Economics. Several new papers have been published, data series have been added to the website, and the name of the database has been changed. For the latest working papers and technical notes, published after the release of the December report, please see the website. Also read the excellent article published in the New York Times.

The Hutchins Roundup brings you the latest on fiscal and monetary policy. The newsletter is published by the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at Brookings. One of the articles, by Aditya Aladangady and Laura Feiveson, The relationship between consumption, income, and wealth has broken down use consumption and income data from 1960 to 2017 to show that aggregate household consumption has not kept up with disposable income, government transfers, and household wealth since 2012.

Register for Green Public Employment Programmes short course

9 – 13  April 2018
Cape Town, DoubleTree by Hilton, Upper Eastside

This International Executive Course is presented by UCT’s Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization’s Employment Intensive Investment Programme. Download the course flyer and the application form. The course lays out a conceptual and strategic framework for promoting integrated approaches that create jobs, provide income security, and strengthen climate resilience through green works. More specifically, it focuses on policy debates arising from climate change adaptation and the implementation of a just transition for all through labour-based public employment programmes. It will include case studies of job creation works that protect the environment and biodiversity. Participants should preferably have experience in public works, employment policy and/or environmental issues.

All enquiries should be addressed to as soon as possible.

LSE–UCT July School applications now open

25 June – 6 July 2018

UCT and the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) invite undergraduates, graduate students and professionals from around the world to the LSE–UCT July School, an intensive two-week programme on the social sciences for students and professionals.

Request information here.


SCIS Seminar

Is South Africa’s property clause (section 25) an obstacle or engine for socio-economic transformation? Professor Jackie Dugard

Tuesday, 10 April 2018, 12:30 – 14:00 
Social Sciences Seminar Room, RS248, Robert Sobukwe Block, Braamfontein Campus East

Unequal access to property, especially land, has been prominent in the socio-political discourse. It has given rise to the ANC's resolution in December 2017, as well as that in the National Assembly in February 2018, on the expropriation of land without compensation. At the heart of public discussion of land has been contestation over section 25 of the Constitution, the ‘property clause’, which is widely perceived to hinder transformation. Reflecting an increasingly uneasy bundle of imperatives, from Marxist redistribution to liberal protection of property to recognition of African customary land use, section 25’s Janus-like character has given rise to a schizophrenic public discourse. While there are calls for scrapping section 25, many poor people and communities are appealing to government to speed up titling processes for private property, and property owners are voicing anxiety about their rights. Against this backdrop, and in the context of the Constitution’s transformative objective to ‘improve the quality of life of all citizens’ and advance the ‘achievement of equality’, we examine the extent to which section 25 is an obstacle or engine for socio-economic transformation in South Africa.
The SCIS runs a monthly interdisciplinary reading group on inequality. Sign up here to be kept informed about the reading group.

HSRC Seminar Series

Consensual but Radical Land Reform? International experience and its relevance for South Africa, Professor Michael Lipton, Sussex University

12 April 2018, 12:30 – 13:30
Videoconferencing facilities in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

Click here for the video link.
In South Africa, farmland redistribution is crucial for social justice as well as poverty reduction and employment. But will it harm food security or production? There’s evidence that in high-unemployment areas small, not-too-unequal smallholdings, in the wake of carefully considered land reform, are conducive to productive, dynamic agricultures. However, complementarities between small and large farms may be key to productive impact from smallholder-based land reform. If so, can South Africa have consensual but radical land reform, especially if underused big farms are near areas of land hunger? 
Professor Michael Lipton is a global expert on the dynamics of land reform and smallholder agricultural development, nutrition and poverty, economic demography and development theory. With research leadership spanning roughly half a century in Africa and Asia, Prof Lipton received the prestigious Leontief Prize for Advancing the Frontiers of Economic Thought in 2012.

11 – 12 May 2018
Bogotá, Colombia

The Institute of Labor Economics (IZA), which is based in Germany, the World Bank and the Network of Jobs and Development are hosting a Jobs and Development conference. The Network comprises five research institutions: UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit, the HKUST Institute for Emerging Market Studies in Hong Kong, the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, the Institute for Structural Research in Poland, and the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association (LACEA). The aim of the conference is to discuss the latest policy-relevant research to foster the creation of multi-sector, multidisciplinary solutions to jobs challenges around the world, based on research and empirical evidence.

For more information, please visit the conference website.


Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies (TIPS), in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry and the South African Research Chair in Industrial Development at the University of Johannesburg, will host the 2018 forum on Finance and Industrial Development. The Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) recognises the importance of finance for industrial development. Along with various support measures, the state contributes billions of rand in incentives each year to a range of industries. The Industrial Development Corporation and other development finance institutions provide over R15 billion per year for industrial finance, empowerment, infrastructure, land and housing; and several national and provincial finance institutions have been established to support small businesses. There is an urgent need for South Africa and the region to promote industrialisation, a pro-employment development path, and greater equality. How can finance better support these imperatives? Developing strategic and coherent approaches that maximise the impact of state resources, and that leverage private sector and international development finance, requires further research and analysis.

For more information visit the

Call for Papers: African Review of Economics and Finance Conference

The African Review of Economics and Finance (AREF) is pleased to announce the call for papers for the 2018 annual conference, which will be hosted at the Wits Business School in Johannesburg on 22–23 August 2018. The 2018 AREF conference, on Growth and Inequality in Africa, brings together top scholars, doctoral students and practitioners from around the world to present research, network and collaborate.

The closing date for the submission of papers is 1 May 2018. More information.
Enquiries: Professor Paul Alagidede ( or Dr Jones Odei Mensah (


12 – 14 September 2018

The African Programme on Rethinking Development Economics (APORDE) is a two-week, high-level training programme in development economics, public policymaking, and development strategies aimed at building capacity in the South, particularly in Africa. APORDE is an initiative of the Department of Trade and Industry, with the support of the Industrial Development Corporation.
The 12th edition of APORDE will be held in Johannesburg on 3–14 September 2018. Please read the Call for Applications before completing the application online. Entry into the programme will be very competitive – we receive many high-quality applications, and only 25 applicants will be selected. Applicants must therefore ensure that they complete and submit all the required documentation.

EVIDENCE 2018: Engage, Understand, Impact

25 – 28 September 2018
The CSIR ICC, Pretoria

 EVIDENCE 2018 aims to encourage and promote evidence-informed decision-making (EIDM) in Africa, thereby contributing to the development of effective public policies, the efficient implementation of services, as well as joint learning on interventions that tackle poverty and inequality in African countries.
The Call for Abstracts is open, focusing on four priority issues for Africa. We will explore how EIDM can make a difference in the areas of quality education; good governance; communicable diseases; and climate resilience. This will allow us to build our shared knowledge and understanding not only in theory but also with concrete application to important issues.
To register or for more information, visit our website.

The UN World Data Forum 2018
Dubai, UAE 
22 – 24 October 2018

The programme of the UN World Data Forum is organised around six main thematic areas, covering a range of topics – see programme.

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