n Journal of Public Administration - The effect of macro-economic policies on sustainable development in South Africa : 1994-2014

Volume 50, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



This article assesses the evolution of the macro-economic policies of government in South Africa, covering the period of 1994 to 2014. The aim of this article is to examine how these policies, namely the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP), Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy, the New Growth Path and the National Development Plan (NDP), have impacted individual and national development. The article employs a qualitative approach precisely because it is descriptive in nature. The article argues that privatisation of services/state assets through the GEAR policy benefited those who were associated with the ruling party. There is little scholarship available in the discipline of Public Administration and other related disciplines of social sciences on how the ruling class is using strong networks (associated political, social and capital resources) in their effort for personal accumulation, while the majority is bearing the brunt of poverty, inequality and unemployment, among other things. Thus, this article attempts to fill in the knowledge-gap with reference to the political economy in South Africa. In conclusion, the macro-economic policies that are being applied through neo-liberal strategies are not in the interests of the majority in South Africa. We, therefore, recommend that a pro-state model of development is needed alongside the involvement of the business sector to promote sustainable development in South Africa.

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