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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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.
The social progress South Africa has made over the past two decades is impressive. The transition to democracy has of course been a defining feature, and successive governments have implemented policies to increase well-being. The expansion of social grants has lifted many South Africans out of absolute poverty. This progress has been underpinned by a sound framework for macroeconomic policy.
South Africa has made impressive social progress over the past two decades, lifting millions of people out of poverty and broadening access to essential services like water, electricity and sanitation.
The Secretary-General was in Pretoria to present the 2015 OECD Economic Survey of South Africa and hold meetings with several high-level officials. He also participated in a meeting on the OECD’s New Approaches to Economic Challenges (NAEC) initiative.