South Africa: Increasing Opportunities for the Poor
Mercatus Center at George Mason University, Country Brief No. 3
33 Pages Posted: 16 Apr 2009
Date Written: April 1, 2009
As South Africa faces a new round of parliamentary elections in April 2009, the country confronts a host of difficult political challenges. These elections will test the country’s commitment to democratic institutions and peaceful political transitions. It will also test past public policies - policies that are criticized for falling short of delivering positive economic opportunities throughout the country - especially for the poor.
In this Country Brief, Enterprise Africa! lead researcher Karol Boudreaux and program associate Johan van der Walt focus on three domestic policy issues that they believe are important to expanding opportunities for South Africa’s poor: employment, education, and security. In addition, they focus on three foreign policy issues that they believe are significant to leveraging South Africa’s unique position in international affairs: regional integration, good governance, and public and cultural diplomacy.
The manner in which the country and the key political contenders - the African National Congress (ANC), the Congress of the People (COPE), and the Democratic Alliance (DA) - manage this period of transition will have a large impact on the political economy of South Africa and its surrounding region. With a new focus on expanding opportunity and good governance, the country can play an ever more meaningful role in the region, continent, and world.
Keywords: South Africa, Labor, Crime, Education, Public Diplomacy, Good Governance, Regional Integration, Development
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