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President Ramaphosa welcomes groundbreaking book on SA economy

- Wits University

The book comes at a time of great upheaval in the global economy.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the keynote address at the launch of the first comprehensive handbook of the South African economy by leading economists and academics from diverse backgrounds.

Titled The Oxford Handbook of the South African Economy, the virtual launch was held on Wednesday, 6 April 2022, and was hosted by the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at Wits University and the DSI/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development, University of Johannesburg.

In his address Ramaphosa praised the book for its “holistic take on the economy, ranging from chapters examining South Africa’s economic history, its performance over time, and detailed analyses on various industries.”

The President acknowledged that the South African economy is underperforming despite inclusive policies and efforts to create a diverse economy.

He added that there is a need to understand “why we are falling behind” and that government looks to the academic community engaged in economic research to provide insights and guidance to the challenges confronting South Africa. Read speech.

He further encouraged wide distribution of the book in order to deepen citizen engagement with economic policy.

The book comprises 46 chapters produced by 81 authors. While the volume focuses on the economic developments since the transition to democracy in 1994, it contextualises the historical perspective and legacy of apartheid, which remains critical to understanding South Africa.  The book aims to contribute to and advance the current debates about, among others, sluggish economic growth, weak economic transformation, and rising inequality and unemployment, said the authors.

The book was co-edited by Imraan Valodia, Professor of Economics at Wits University; Arkebe Oqubay, Ethiopian Senior Minister and Professor of Practice, University of Johannesburg; and Fiona Tregenna, Department of Science and Innovation/National Research Foundation South African Research Chair in Industrial Development, University of Johannesburg.

Copies of the book can be ordered at a reduced rate via Content and contributors as follows:


  1. Challenges and Complexities of the South African Economy, by Fiona Tregenna, Arabo K. Ewinyu, Arkebe Oqubay, and Imraan Valodia
  2. The Economic History of South Africa before 1948, by Stefan Schirmer
  3. The Economic History of South Africa 1948-1994, by Bill Freund† and (the late) Vishnu Padayachee†
  4. Politics and Economic Policymaking in South Africa since 1994, by Alan Hirsch, Brian Levy, and Musa Nxele
  5. South Africa's Post-apartheid Economic Development Trajectory, by David Francis, Adam Habib, and Imraan Valodia
  6. Constraints to Economic Growth in South Africa, by Kenneth Creamer
  7. Unemployment in South Africa, by James Heintz and Karmen Naidoo
  8. Poverty in South Africa, by Vusi Gumede
  9. Inequality in South Africa, by Murray Leibbrandt and Fabio Andrés Díaz Pabón


  1. Agriculture in South Africa, by Wandile Sihlobo and Johann Kirsten
  2. Agro-processing Industries in the South African Economy, by Horman Chitonge
  3. Land and Agrarian Development in South Africa, by Ruth Hall and Farai Mtero
  4. Mining and Minerals in South Africa, by Neva Seidman Makgetla
  5. Energy in South Africa, by Rod Crompton and Ruwadzano Matsika
  6. Socio-economic Aspects of Energy and Climate Change in South Africa, by Roula Inglesi-Lotz
  7. Climate Change and the Green Transition in South Africa, by Channing Arndt, Sherwin Gabriel, Faaiqa Hartley, Kenneth Marc Strzepek, and Timothy Thomas


  1. Corporate Structure, Industrial Development, and Structural Change in South Africa, by Pamela Mondliwa and Simon Roberts
  2. Value Chains and Industrial Development in South Africa, by Mike Morris, Justin Barnes, and David Kaplan
  3. Southern African Regional Value Chains and Integration, by Reena das Nair
  4. South Africa's Economic Role in Africa, by Mills Soko and Mzukisi Qobo
  5. South Africa's International Trade, by Lawrence Edwards
  6. Innovation and Technological Change in South Africa, by Erika Kraemer-Mbula and Rasigan Maharajh
  7. South Africa and the Fourth Industrial Revolution, by Bhaso Ndzendze and Tshilidzi Marwala
  8. Industrial Policy in South Africa, by Anthony Black
  9. Competition Policy in South Africa, by Liberty Mncube and Nicola Theron
  10. Regulation of Network Industries in South Africa, by James Hodge and Tamara Paremoer
  11. State-Owned Enterprises in South Africa, by Mark Swilling and Nina Callaghan
  12. Black Economic Empowerment in South Africa, by Thando Vilakazi
  13. Entrepreneurship and SMMEs in South Africa, by Boris Urban
  14. Urbanization, Agglomeration, and Economic Development in South Africa, by Ivan Turok


  1. Changing Dynamics in the South African Labour Market, by Haroon Bhorat, Ben Stanwix, and Amy Thornton
  2. The Youth Labour Market in South Africa, by Cecil Mlatsheni
  3. The Economics of Education in South Africa, by Nicola Branson and David Lam
  4. Gender and Work in South Africa, by Daniela Casale, Dorrit Posel, and Jacqueline Mosomi
  5. The South African Informal Economy, by Michael Rogan and Caroline Skinner
  6. Migration and Remittances in South Africa, by Mark A. Collinson and Mduduzi Biyase
  7. The Economics of Households in South Africa, by Dorrit Posel and Katharine Hall
  8. Food Security, Hunger, and Stunting in South Africa, by Julian May
  9. The Economics of Health in South Africa, by Ronelle Burger and Mosima Ngwenya
  10. Social Security and Social Development in South Africa, by Leila Patel


  1. The Macroeconomics of South African Economic Growth, by Philippe Burger
  2. Investment in South Africa, by Ciaran Driver and Laurence Harris
  3. Public Finance and Fiscal Policy in South Africa, by Tania Ajam
  4. Public Debt in South Africa, by Manoel Bittencourt
  5. Monetary Policy in South Africa, by Nicola Viegi
  6. Banking and Finance in South Africa, by Penelope HawkinsFinancialization in South Africa, by Ewa Karwowski