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Getting it Right; A new economy for South Africa

Not only is South Africa in an economic rut, but high levels of corruption, patronage and state capture also means it suffers from severe institutional rot. This rot distracts attention from policy debates, while the accompanying political and administrative mismanagement creates policy uncertainty. Policy uncertainty and economic underperformance, in turn, lead to low investment. The result is low economic growth and high unemployment.

The first democratic government in 1994 inherited an underperforming economy with a broken labour system. Apartheid's labour system comprised a labour market that up to the mid-1980s suffered from the stifling effects of job reservation. It also comprised the Bantu education system and the Bantustan, and influx control system.

Within the first three years, the first democratic government introduced new labour legislation that modernised the South African labour market and protected worker rights. Democracy also meant that the Bantustan governments were abolished (although traditional chiefs were left in place) and the fragmented, race-based education departments were merged into a non-racial education system. But these reforms did not bring work and prosperity.

In his new book, Professor Philippe Burger explains why this did not happen. Central to this explanation is policy failure and patronage. He also sets out to explain the key problems inhibiting economic growth, job creation and a reduction of inequality and poverty, and discusses the actions that should constitute the government's policy agenda. These actions are intended to introduce the necessary structural and policy changes needed to put South Africa on the road towards prosperity and higher levels of employment.

Suffice it to say that South Africa needs a drastic change of direction if the country is to have a higher, more inclusive level of economic activity and a better livelihood for all.

Prof Burger will be joined by other leading economists for this discussion

Author: Philippe Burger

Philippe Burger is professor of Economics and head of Department at the University of the Free State. He was a 2016/17 Fulbright Exchange Scholar at the Center for Sustainable Development, Earth Institute, at Columbia University (New York). From September, 2012 to October, 2014 he was president of the Economic Society of South Africa. He is also a member of the South African Statistics Council, which overseas the work of Statistics South Africa. His publications include three books and numerous academic articles on fiscal rules and fiscal sustainability, public private partnerships and macroeconomic and economic development policy. Together with IMF staff he also co-authored two IMF working papers. In 2009, the IMF also invited him to spend a month at the IMF as a visiting scholar. In 2007, 2010 and 2012, he was seconded to the OECD in Paris to work on public private partnerships and capital budgeting, while in October, 2011 he joined an OECD mission to Indonesia to conduct a regulatory review of Indonesia. He was a member of the Panel of Experts of the South African National Treasury, in which capacity he recently co-authored a 20 year review of South African fiscal policy since 1994.

Speakers:

Prof Adrian Saville, Chief Executive Cannon Asset Managers Professor, Gordon Institute of Business Science

Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES (Youth Employment Service)

Gugu Mtetwa CA(SA), Director of Companies

Zukiswa Mthimunye, GIBS Faculty

Additional Info:

Registration: 17:45

Starts: 18:00

Ends:19:30

A light supper will be served after the event.

Want to attend but can't afford to? email nkawus@gibs.co.za for one of the limited free seats available.

Please note that GIBS forums are filmed for City Press and BDTV

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  • Abdullah Verachia is a sought-after global speaker, board and EXCO advisor and practice strategist. He has  served in senior executive and board roles, has crafted competitive strategies for leading companies and governments around the world, lectured at some of the top ranked business schools and built and run successful companies. Abdullah also serves on a number of boards. Abdullah fuses practice, education, insight, empathy, and experience into a beautiful tapestry that adds massive value at all levels. 

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    Having presented and consulted in over 60 cities globally he has been recognized as a leading speaker, disruptor, strategist and thought leader on competitiveness and the interplay between strategy and disruption, His experience makes him a sought-after global speaker in these areas. In December 2017, he received a standing ovation at the acclaimed TEDx Euston in London. Abdullah was also asked to be the keynote speaker at the 2018 World Speech Day. 

    Abdullah has presented around the world to leading listed firms, international organizations and governments including in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, Mumbai, Bangalore, Dubai Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Accra, Dar Es Salaam, Nairobi, Frankfurt, Munich, Copenhagen, Madrid, Paris, London, and New York. He has been asked to present at some of the world's leading institutions including the School of Public and International Affairs at Colombia University in New York, TEDx Euston, the OECD Paris and Casa Asia in Madrid amongst others. 

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    Verachia has a passion for education and serves as faculty at GIBS as well as program director for the Harvard Senior Executive Program on Africa. He has won several awards for excellence in teaching. He is also the recipient of the Harvard Business School Deans scholarship for leadership and innovation and was also selected for the Brightest Young Minds in South Africa

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    Qualifications 

    • PhD Innovation, Strategy (GIBS) - still in progress 
    • MIM-cum laude (MM) (WBS)  
    • LLB (UJ) 
    • GMP (Harvard Business School)
    • Strategy and Shared value (Harvard Business School)
    • EDP (Oxford University: Said Business School)
    • Executive Program in Broadcast technology (CU)

     

     

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