Economic Performance and Development
The academic leadership of the HSRC is well-established in the domain of ‘Gender Equity and Women’s Empowerment’.
Article by Alison Todesa and Ivan Turok
There is a renewed battle of ideas about the best way to tackle spatial inequalities within nations and regions (Barca, 2009; McCann, 2016; OECD, 2009; World Bank, 2009). The contest between different approaches has been spurred by heightened competition for investment in a context of economic volatility and geopolitical uncertainty. A popular backlash against globalisation in many lagging regions has added to the pressure for new solutions to uneven development, reflected in international commitments to ‘leave no-one behind’ in the Sustainable Development Goals and other agreements.
Limiting the size of landholding, through land ceilings and expropriation, has moved to the forefront of land reform debates as well as how to revive prosperous smallholders in South Africa. However, land ceilings have not only stirred up heated debates, but has also attracted some level of controversy, as key stakeholders hold conflicting positions, which are informed by different conceptions, analytical approaches and methodologies. The need therefore exists to bring clarity by scientifically establishing the appropriate agricultural land sizes for each agro climatic region of the country using robust methodologies
Economic Performance and Development (EPD) launches high-profile project on farmland reform
Limiting the size of landholding, through land ceilings and expropriation, has moved to the forefront of land reform debates as well as how to revive prosperous smallholders in South Africa. However, land ceilings have not only stirred up heated debates, but has also attracted some level of controversy, as key stakeholders hold conflicting positions, which are informed by different conceptions, analytical approaches and methodologies. The need therefore exists to bring clarity by scientifically establishing the appropriate agricultural land sizes for each agro climatic region of the country using robust methodologies.
Moving to a city in search of work seems to pay off for many poor people in the countryside. Data that track changes over time indicate that as many as 385 000 people were lifted from poverty between 2008 and 2014 after moving from rural to urban areas – their poverty levels were halved together with a fall in unemployment. Government ambivalence about urbanisation should be replaced by a more positive and pro-active approach.
A new HSRC book, Imonti Modern: Picturing the Life and Times of a South African Location by Leslie Bank (EPD) and Mxolisi Qebeyi, a community activist from Duncan Village, East London, was launched at the South African Cultural Observatory (SACO) conference in Port Elizabeth on the 8th March 2018. The Minster of Arts and Culture, Nathi Mthethwa, who opened and attended the conference, responded positively to the book and encouraged the production of more volumes of this kind in South Africa.
Hearing loss is not simply a medical matter, but more a communication impairment with social ramifications that have a significant impact on your personal life and career. Tim Hart, a senior research project manager at the HSRC, spoke to the HSRC Review about the sacrifices and positive choices that he has made to live with profound hearing disability.
The World Bank has contracted the Economic Performance and Development unit to appraise and strengthen the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) Exit Strategy. The NARYSEC programme is a flagship youth development intervention of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform (DRDLR), which started in September 2010. Through this programme, the Department recruits thousands of unemployed youths in resource poor rural districts, where youth unemployment levels are very high, and equips them with the necessary skills that can be ploughed back into sustainable socio-economic initiatives in their communities.
Professor Ivan Turok attended the inaugural meeting of the SHLC in Glasgow between November 13-15th. This is a major new research programme funded by the UK Government’s Global Challenges Research Fund. The EPD unit of HSRC is a core member of the Centre.
On 26 October the Business Development and International Liaison unit hosted representatives of the Limpopo Development Collaborative Platform (LDCP) to discuss how HSRC researchers might be able to contribute towards this substantial research initiative. Stakeholders in this collaborative platform include the Limpopo Provincial Government, private corporations and research agencies.
Anglo American Platinum and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) represented the LDCP. Three HSRC units (EDP, DGSD and RIA) participated in this meeting with their inputs, taken together, illustrating the impressive footprint of their diverse research initiatives in Limpopo. Dr Glenda Kruss, Executive Director of CESTII, chaired this exploratory conversation to consider how to bring social scientists and M&E experts into the LDCP initiative.