A Review of Services Regulation in South Africa

by MAYER, M.J. & ONYANGO, D. , 2008
Research Report, Employment Growth & Development Initiative, Human Sciences Research Council

Domestic regulation is central to trade in services, increasing the competitiveness of services sub-sectors, and achieving social aims. It can both be a barrier to trade and a policy instrument for addressing market failure in the form of monopoly, asymmetric information and externalities. Regulation also plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the poor are able to access essential services. Mayer and Onyango offer a comprehensive review of regulation across all services sub-sectors. In the realm of services trade, it is domestic regulation (rather than tariffs) that create barriers to trade. In addition, regulation is the key lever to enhance the competitiveness of backbone infrastructure and promote access to essential services for the poor. Too often, regulation is determined and managed on a sector-by-sector basis, rather than with an eye to cross-sector implications and learning. This paper therefore identifies cross-cutting and sector gaps in both research and policy in order to guide the work of the interdepartmental task teams on Leveraging Services for Growth, Employment and Equity.