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The challenge of growth, employment and poverty in the South African economy since democracy: an exploratory review of selected issues


  • Haroon Bhorat
  • Rashad Cassim


The welfare challenges in post-apartheid South Africa are best represented by the triumvirate of poverty, income inequality and unemployment. In turn, the one generally accepted mechanism for overcoming these challenges is for an economy to realise sustained levels of high economic growth. Herein lie the essential coordinates of this article. We attempt first to describe the post-apartheid experience with economic growth and its determinants. Secondly, we describe the nature of the welfare challenges that the society faces in terms of poverty, income inequality and unemployment. Finally, and perhaps most critically, we explore the various constraints on economic growth that may be hindering the realisation of higher standards of living amongst the population.

Suggested Citation

  • Haroon Bhorat & Rashad Cassim, 2004. "The challenge of growth, employment and poverty in the South African economy since democracy: an exploratory review of selected issues," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(1), pages 7-31.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:21:y:2004:i:1:p:7-31
    DOI: 10.1080/0376835042000181408

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    Cited by:

    1. Cecile Gerwel Proches & Shamim Bodhanya & Stan Hardman, 2012. "The Challenges of Service Provision and Economic Development in South Africa," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 14(Special N), pages 580-599, November.
    2. Claire Vermaak, 2012. "Tracking poverty with coarse data: evidence from South Africa," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 10(2), pages 239-265, June.
    3. Frederick C.v.N. Fourie, 2011. "The South African unemployment debate: three worlds, three discourses?," SALDRU Working Papers 63, Southern Africa Labour and Development Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

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