R1-trillion: the cost of the Zuma years

Former President Jacob Zuma
Former President Jacob Zuma
Image: SIMPHIWE NKWALI

The SA economy could have been up to 30% or R1-trillion larger and created 2.5-million more jobs had the country kept pace with other emerging markets and Sub-Saharan African economies over the past decade.

The government could also have collected R1-trillion more in tax had the economy performed closer to that of its peers and had tax collection remained efficient.

These are the key findings of a Bureau for Economic Research (BER) research paper, "Ten Years After the Lehman collapse: SA’s Post-crisis Performance in Perspective", by BER economist Harri Kemp.

Kemp sets out to determine what the "lost years" of SA’s economic stagnation between 2010 and 2017 cost the country in terms of the growth, taxes and jobs forgone. According to his estimates:

• If domestic activity had reverted to its pre-crisis trend of broadly matching global growth, real GDP would have been 15.4% (R481bn) higher by the end of 2017.

• If it had matched that of other commodity-exporting economies, SA’s real GDP would have been 10.5%-14.7% (between R329bn and R458bn) higher in 2017.

This article was first published by Financial Mail (Paywall)


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