INFOGRAPHIC: Trends in actual and potential per capita GDP, 1960–2010.
South Africa’s economic growth since the 1960s is framed by pre-apartheid and post-apartheid eras of growth and development approach. The graph shows a clear period of economic and social stagnation during apartheid. The post-apartheid era has been defined by integrating previously disadvantaged groups within the formal economy, and reintegration of the country within the world economy (Data source: African Development Bank statistical data portal and Ncube et al. [2012] South Africa's Quest for inclusive development Tunis: African Development Bank). (French version).

— Abstract

The end of apartheid in 1994 ushered in a new era in South Africa, and with it the challenge of building a democratic, inclusive, and stable society. The government led by the African National Congress initially adopted a neo-liberal stance to manage the economy, and a redistributive strategy to close the income disparity, with a streak of a developmental state. These two tracks were at times at odds with each other. The last decade has shown widening inequality and slow progress in addressing poverty, deprivations, and other dimensions of well-being. Economic growth resulted in huge regional disparities and left a large middle class vulnerable to uncertainties. In response, the government adopted an ambitious strategy called the New Growth Path that combined the goals of strong economic growth, job creation, and broad economic opportunity in one coherent framework. This effort toward greater inclusion is not without challenges.

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— Suggested Readings

Bond, Patrick. (2000). Elite Transition: From Apartheid to Neoliberalism in South Africa. London and Sterling, VA: Pluto Press.

Edigheji, Omano. (ed.) (2010). Constructing a Democratic Developmental State in South Africa: Potentials and Challenges. Cape Town: HSRC Press.

Hirsch, Alan, and Sally Hines. (2005). Season of hope economic reform under Mandela and Mbeki. Scottsville, South Africa: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press. (Résumé en français disponible ici)

Mandela, Nelson, and Anne V. T. Whyte. (1995). Building a new South Africa: a report Volume 4. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre. (Résumé en français disponible ici)

Marais, Hein. (2001). South Africa: Limits to Change: The Political Economy of Transition, 2nd edition. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Worden, Nigel. (2011). The Making of Modern South Africa: Conquest, Apartheid, Democracy, 3rd edition. Malden, MA, Oxford: John Wiley & Sons.