Newly launched Oxford Handbook of the South African Economy to unpack the country’s key questions

Date: Apr 7, 2022 | Media Release, News


The President of the Republic of South Africa, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, gave the keynote address at the launch of the book, The Oxford Handbook of the South African Economy.

The virtual event was hosted by the DSI/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies (SCIS) at the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS).

In his address, President Ramaphosa stated that the book came at a time of great upheaval in the global economy as the Covid-19 pandemic had depressed economic activity, disrupted global supply chains and deepened inequality.

“Our socio-economic context demands that as we focus on growth and job creation, we also ensure that no-one is left behind.

“As we launch this Oxford Handbook of the South African Economy, we are reaffirming the importance of improving the quality of national dialogue on the economy. I welcome the diverse contributions contained in this Handbook. It promises to provide a holistic take on the economy, ranging from chapters examining South Africa’s economic history, its performance over time and detailed analysis on various industries.”

President Ramaphosa added that the book also examined emerging features of economics, such as the dynamics of the just transition and the green economy.

“Its authors need to actively take their work into the public domain to deepen the engagement of citizens with economic policy. South Africans are never short of ideas on how to manage the economy.”

The book, edited by Arkebe Oqubay, Fiona Tregenna, and Imraan Valodia, is the first comprehensive handbook of the South African economy. It provides a detailed and wide-ranging coverage of the key economic questions in South Africa, concentrating on the more recent economic challenges facing the country. The book also provides historical and political context and an in-depth examination of strategic issues in the various critical economic sectors.

“The book is intended to serve as the key authoritative reference on the South African economy. It includes 47 chapters, authored by 81 leading scholars from South Africa and abroad. Chapter topics range from economic history, political economy, agriculture, mining and energy to the green transition, trade, and industrial development as well as regulation and the labour market,” said Prof Fiona Tregenna, DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development, and Professor of Economics at UJ.

“Other topics include poverty, distribution, social development, growth, macroeconomics, and other themes pertaining to the South African economy.”

The chapters provide rigorous analysis of wide-ranging topics and can serve as ‘go-to’ references for anyone interested in those topics.

“As well as the central scholarly importance of the volume for research, we hope that it will be of interest to policymakers and more widely.”

Other engagement events on the book will take place during the course of 2022.

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