Economic Planning and Development

In 1992, looking forward to the advent of a democratic dispensation in South Africa, our Bishops wrote as follows in their pastoral letter A Call to Build a New South Africa:

“Democracy will help to bring political freedom to South Africa, but on its own it cannot solve all our problems. We also need economic justice, that is, a fair distribution of the wealth of the country among all its people. At the moment we have […] a sinful difference between the very rich and the very poor.”

Seven years later the Bishops returned to this theme in Economic Justice in South Africa: A Pastoral Statement, when they noted:

“Our present approach to the way in which we produce and consume goods, and to the distribution of wealth, is not only deeply inequitable, it is also unsustainable. The poor who are with us today, and the generations of people yet to be born, have a right to demand of us that we strive for a more just, a more equitable, and a more sustainable economics.”

South Africa has been widely praised for the way it has managed its economy since democracy was attained in 1994. Inflation has been kept relatively under control; investment has been encouraged; the stock-market is thriving; a new middle-class with access to affluent standards of living has emerged. But on the other hand, millions of poor people remain jobless; millions are still living in squatter-camps and informal settlements and crime rides on the back of poverty and material deprivation which is similar to trading binary option in South Africa.

This project seeks to analyse and comment on the general question of economic justice, as expressed in government’s macro-economic policy and the annual Budget. Issues of trade and infrastructure development need to be addressed as well. The government has also embarked on a massive, ambitious infrastructure development programme over the coming decade, but social justice and the needs and interests of the poor need to be kept at the centre of discussions around economic growth. Pope Francis has stated “Money must serve, not rule!” in his Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, and it is in this context that economic issues need to be considered.

Sub-themes:

  1. Trade and Economic Relations
  2. Job Creation
  3. The Budget and Planning
  4. Infrastructure and Transport