Employment and Economy

South Africa’s economic development trajectory: implications for skills development strategy.

by ALTMAN, M. & MAYER, M., 2005
Journal of Education and Work, 18(1), 33-56, 2005.

Altman and Mayer argue that skills development in South Africa must be aligned to the economic and political imperatives of reducing unemployment and poverty, while fostering growth and international competitiveness. The legacy of a resource-based economy, overlaid by apartheid policies, has resulted in widespread poverty, inequality and unemployment existing alongside globally competitive industries. It is…


Overview of the Economy and Economic Policy

by LOWITT, S & ALTMAN, M., 2008
HRD Review 2008: Education, Employment and Skills. Cape Town: HSRC Press

Lowitt and Altman provide a high-level review of the economy’s performance and key policy development in the period 2001–2003. The focus is on economic performance and
policy in relation to the demand for labour, and hence human resource development. From a performance perspective, the chapter shows that economic growth was resilient despite a global slowdown and…


An overview of Industrial Policy and its Implications for HRD

by ALTMAN, M., MAYER. M., , 2003
HRD Review 2003, Education, Employment and Skills in South Africa; Human Sciences Research Council Press. Chapter 3, pp 64-85

Altman and Mayer analyse the impact of South Africa’s industrial policy on the demand for labour. They show that industrial development has historically been driven by minerals extraction and import substitution, overlain by apartheid policies that excluded the majority of the population from the economy. This entrenched a growth path characterised by capital-intensive production processes,…


Employment Promotion in a Minerals Economy

by ALTMAN, M., 2001
Journal of International Development, 13, pp. 1-19, 2001.

The SA economy can be characterized as a minerals economy, with a small market and low skill levels. Hence, most foreign investment is attracted to resource extraction, basic beneficiation or government-generated opportunities. There are many indications that SA suffers from the ‘resource curse’. The dominance of basic minerals and metals in SA’s export profile contributes…


Reviewing the Question: Budget 2008

by ALTMAN, M., 2008
Human Sciences Research Council Review article

The 2008 budget says that ‘reducing joblessness remains South Africa’s most critical challenge’. There are many elements in the budget that will support growth and employment, but it is not so easy to see how it comes together. The budget is one of the government’s most powerful instruments, and an important expression of its priorities….


Halving Unemployment by 2014:What will it take?

by ALTMAN, M., 2004
Human Sciences Research Council Review, vol 2,no.3,pp 8-9

Government committed to halving unemployment between 2004 and 2014. Altman considers the following questions: how fast might the labour market grow, and what rate of job creation will be needed to achieve this target? Has the South Africa economy yet embarked on a sufficiently labour-absorbing path? Is Government policy moving in the right direction?


The State of Employment and Unemployment

by ALTMAN, M., 2003
The State of the Nation. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council Press

Altman outlines trends in employment, underemployment and unemployment in South Africa, and explains possible causes and policy implications. Net employment in South Africa was stagnant or falling since the early 1980s, mainly because of factors related to the Apartheid government’s policies of ‘Separate Development’. A large stock of unemployed built up over many years, and…


The State of Employment

by ALTMAN, M., 2004
State of the Nation: South Africa 2004-2005. Chapter 16. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council Press pp 423-454

Altman considers the meaning of job creating versus jobless growth, and assesses the character of employment creation in South Africa. She reviews the extent of job creation in the economy and compares this with the pace of labour force and economic growth. She then assesses the quality of these jobs and their contribution to household…


Paths to Employment Expansion in a Minerals Economy

by ALTMAN, M. , 2001
Urban Forum, 12 (3-4), July – December, 2001, Vol 12, issue 3-4, pp. 314 – 335.

It is not surprising that South Africa has not attracted sufficient foreign investment to induce higher growth rates and absorb its substantial labour surplus. It can be characterised as a minerals economy, primarily attracting resource-based investments and government induced opportunities. The minerals rents enabled the government to by-pass the development of labour absorbing sectors in…