Tax revenues in African countries are rising as a proportion of national incomes, according to the inaugural edition of Revenue Statistics in Africa. In 2014, the eight countries covered by the report - Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritius, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa and Tunisia - reported tax revenues as a percentage of GDP ranging from 16.1% to 31.3%.
Price levels for private hospital services in South Africa are comparable to the levels observed across OECD countries. But they are higher than what could be expected given the country’s income, according to a new OECD working paper.
Reforms over the past two decades have produced a well-balanced, modern tax system. However, considerable revenues will be needed in the years ahead to expand social spending and infrastructure in order to raise growth and well-being. The challenge is to generate these revenues without penalising growth or exacerbating inequality.
The 2015 edition introduces more detailed analysis of participation in early childhood and tertiary levels of education. The report also examines first generation tertiary-educated adults’ educational and social mobility, labour market outcomes for recent graduates, and participation in employer-sponsored formal and/or non-formal education.
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Continued spatial segregation undermines labour-market performance and reinforces disparities in access to essential services and economic opportunity. As South Africa continues to urbanise, it needs policies that support a better location of affordable housing and improved transport provision.
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South Africa has a solid legislative framework for combating the bribery of foreign public officials in international business transactions, yet it needs to better enforce the law prohibiting the bribery of foreign public officials and make sure that South African companies know how to effectively prevent such bribery in their foreign business deals.
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Addressing poor labour market outcomes for youth will require measures to boost job creation, increase employability through better education and training, promote entrepreneurship, improve job quality, and strengthen social protection.
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South Africa conducted a comprehensive review of its state-owned enterprise sector in 2012, initiated at the request of the Presidency. Implementation of the review’s recommendations is now of critical importance and can be supported by adopting international best practices.
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There is scope to further improve South Africa’s investment climate. Investors cite concerns such as frequent policy changes, uncertainty of regulation, and corruption as limiting factors. In addition, recent electricity shortages are likely to be weighing on private investment.
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South Africa has made impressive progress in improving access to education, but persistent inequities and poor education quality lead to low education outcomes.