Supporting Economic Policies towards Inclusive Growth and Higher Levels of Employment

The objectives of the South African Institute of Race Relations are to win public support for policies that promote: (a) a system of limited but effective government, (b) a market economy, (c) private enterprise, (d) freedom of speech, (e) individual liberty, (f) property rights and (g) rule of law. Their methodology is to influence public opinion by reaching large numbers of people, with ideas based on compelling arguments and well thought through research.  They also secure high-level engagements with policy makers.  The South African Institute of Race Relations commissions a national opinion survey of public attitudes to race, empowerment and other related policy issues and reports the findings through a variety of media channels in the public domain.

The Karoo Development Foundation was established in 2009 as a non-profit Trust, with the overarching goal of promoting sustainable development in the Karoo - a vast, rural and arid region, divided into four provinces.  The KDF has promoted a regional approach to promote the development of the Karoo, arguing that ecological regions create economically meaningful spatial units.  The KDF recognises that besides agriculture and the various renewable energy projects, tourism could be an important driver for growth in the Karoo.  The KDF has been hampered by their reliance on project-based donor funding, providing little continuity between the different initiatives.  Almost all the KDF’s work, outside of projects, is done on a voluntary (non-funded) basis. 

The KDF has eleven trustees, who gather twice a year for trustee meetings.  All the trustees’ leadership, secretarial and auditing functions are performed as unfunded activities, as and when their professional lives permit.  This includes the management of three KDF websites (www.karoofoundation.co.za; www.aridareas.co.za and www.karoobattlefields.co.za). This agreement will provide KDF with multi-year (2019-2022) grant for the core costs of the trust. Funding would cover:  (a) The maintenance of the three websites;  (b) Funding one annual on-site trustees’ meeting;  (c) Annual fees for auditors; (d) A honorarium for the secretary of the trust to manage the KDF’s affairs each year;  (e) Strategic consultations with government officials and other stakeholders, attending meetings representing the Karoo perspective, engaging with media, and writing project proposals.

The doctoral programme of the Graduate School of Economic and Management Sciences at Stellenbosch University selects ten new doctoral students every year from applications across Africa and beyond and provide the support needed to complete their PhD’s in three years.  The knowledge generated in the process has the potential to stimulate innovations and economic growth in Africa, and it provides the next generation of academics and leaders in the public and private sector in Africa.

The Bureau for Economic Research (BER) was established in 1944 with the aim to study the business cycle and structural changes in the South African economy.  The BER is a Type 2 research centre at Stellenbosch University and formally linked to the Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences.  The main goal of the BER is to independently generate, analyse and disseminate authoritative and policy relevant information on the South African economy in a user-friendly manner.  The BER’s existing business model relies on a revenue stream from clients subscribing to the range of data products and analyses offered by the BER, sponsorships of various indices and commissioned research work.  As a result, the BER’s capacity to engage with policy makers, businesses and the pubic, is constrained as all staff time and resources are focused largely on commercially viable activities.

The resources distributed by this agreement materially assist the BER to unlock the potential to make a more substantive contribution to sound economic-policy processes and dialogue, and business performance.  The Millennium Trust’s contribution to the BER will enable the BER to have more regular research outputs and also allow the BER to design its own ‘commissioned studies’.  This could be self-designed or developed from, for example, a request by National Treasury, other government departments or business organisations.  The BER will be able to ensure that the research is in the national interest rather than being determined by a paying client with specific needs and potential sensitivities.  The distribution will therefore assist the BER to play a more definite policy advocacy role and to promote strategies and plans for economic growth and higher levels of employment.

The objectives of the project are to work with metro governments to help them deliver increased jobs and opportunities for expanding populations; to promote game-changing approaches to youth unemployment; to change the narrative on transformation through facts, analysis and a wider national perspective to link it with faster growth and inclusion of millions of black South Africans into the economy; and to develop practical proposals for a new government in 2019. CDE also aims to help identify common ground and allies for important policy reforms, to strengthen business leaders and organisations and many others in civil society, cities, politics and government to think differently about how to move South Africa forward.

The project aims to investigate the role of the Public Investment Corporation in the South African economy; by engaging with literature on the international experience relating to the systemic implications of pension funds as large as the Public Investment Corporation;  engaging with experts in financial markets and relevant regulatory entities;  engaging with office bearers in the Public Investment Corporation; the Government Employees Pension Fund and the unions, and to produce a report in order to stimulate greater public debate.