Economic Performance and Development

Study will compare prevention strategies in 40 cities and identify solutions

Urban violence in 40 cities in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America will be investigated as part of an ambitious Canadian-British funded research project.

Latest census reveals boom in backyard shacks

The 2011 Census revealed some unexpected patterns and trends. One of the striking findings was the sharp growth in backyard shacks in the major cities. Jackie Borel-Saladin and Ivan Turok discuss the positive and negative aspects of this phenomenon.

The 2011 Census revealed some unexpected patterns and trends. One of the striking findings was the sharp growth in backyard shacks in the major cities. Jackie Borel-Saladin and Ivan Turok discuss the positive and negative aspects of this phenomenon.

The deepening global economic crisis, accelerating climate change and pressures of large-scale urbanisation have rekindled interest in the notion of sustainable urban development. The capacity of cities to absorb the majority of the world’s population growth while providing adequate livelihoods and essential public services will be crucial in the years ahead. Disorderly urbanisation will cause social unrest and expose people to dangerous living conditions and environmental hazards through unregulated building on unsuitable land.

Simplified indicators gleaned from readily available data sources can assist decision makers to monitor a dynamic situation and implement policies to help cities become more resilient. We used Census data from Statistics South Africa to develop suitable indicators for the eight largest cities in the country. We wanted to know whether the pattern of urban development was contributing to socioeconomic progress and would be sustainable in the longer term.

- See more at: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/hsrc-review-may-2013/census-2011-reveals-boom-in-backyard-shacks#sthash.1QgCpTLh.dpuf

Understanding the effects of fiscal policy on South Africa

Increased investment spending would decrease the national debt of the country as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product, reduce government deficit and improve the economic health of the country, says Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu.

Understanding the effects of fiscal policy on South Africa

Increased investment spending would decrease the national debt of the country as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product, reduce government deficit and improve the economic health of the country, says Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu.

A low debt-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio indicates an economy that produces a large amount of goods and services and most likely, profits that are high enough to pay back debts.

Increases in government expenditure can benefit the economy by affecting the level of income and its distribution. This can influence people’s wages and returns to capital thereby affecting saving and investment, thus potentially boosting economic growth. However, increased spending translates into greater debt, which might not be sustainable in the long run.

- See more at: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/hsrc-review-may-2013/understanding-the-effects-of-fiscal-policy-on-south-africa#sthash.WjoOyUIE.dpuf

Understanding the effects of fiscal policy on South Africa

Increased investment spending would decrease the national debt of the country as a percentage of its Gross Domestic Product, reduce government deficit and improve the economic health of the country, says Margaret Chitiga-Mabugu.

A low debt-to-GDP (Gross Domestic Product) ratio indicates an economy that produces a large amount of goods and services and most likely, profits that are high enough to pay back debts.

Increases in government expenditure can benefit the economy by affecting the level of income and its distribution. This can influence people’s wages and returns to capital thereby affecting saving and investment, thus potentially boosting economic growth. However, increased spending translates into greater debt, which might not be sustainable in the long run.

- See more at: http://www.hsrc.ac.za/en/review/hsrc-review-may-2013/understanding-the-effects-of-fiscal-policy-on-south-africa#sthash.WjoOyUIE.dpuf

Releasing the transformative power of urbanisation

The relationship between urbanisation and development is one of the crucial questions of our time. The urban population of low- and middle-income countries is expected to double from two to four billion between 2000 and 2030. Burgeoning urban populations in Africa and Asia contribute to congestion, squalid living conditions, the spread of communicable diseases and stressed ecosystems. If urban labour markets cannot absorb the expanding workforce, escalating poverty and hardship may spark social unrest and violence.

Redressing inequalities in SA's rural areas

Senior researchers from the HSRC's Economic Performance and Development (EPD) unit attended and delivered a presentation at a recent two-day parliamentary workshop, designed to uncover some of the progress and challenges in redressing inequalities in South Africa’s rural areas.

Hosted by the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, the session marked the centenary of the Natives Land Act, No. 27 of 1913. A primary focus of the workshop was agricultural development and land reform – redistribution and restitution.

Sustainability hearings: The voices of ordinary Africans

The HSRC, with the financial assistance of the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA)implemented in 2012/13 the project ‘A Global Dialogue on Sustainable Development: Rio+20 Earth Summit’.
 
Through participatory research a platform was provided for a number of communities, including the African voices within South Africa, to have their thoughts and concerns heard about sustainability issues, the environment and their attempts to sustain their own development.

Red Tent project, final report issued

The Red Tent research project is a series of six documentaries filmed in 2012 and supported by the National Research Foundation (Blue Skies Programme) and the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. The content of the documentaries are summarised below, and a link to the DVDs is provided at the end. The project aims to widely disseminate the Red Tent documentaries in 2013 by means of public workshops and exhibitions through local (and international) art galleries, as a multimedia mode of research advocacy.

The Economic Impacts of the South African Child Support Grant

The child support grant (CSG), particularly aimed at children in poor families, has been expanded greatly in recent years. A new study, will be exploring the economy-wide impact of the grant on the South African economy.

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