South African Economy: No Easy Life Ahead


P. Mozias, National Research University Higher School of Economics, 13, Il'inka Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation (


South African rand depreciated in 2013–2014 under the influence of a number of factors. Internationally, its weakness was associated with the capital outflow from all emerging markets as a result of QE’s tapering in the US. Domestically, rand plummeted because of the deterioration of the macroeconomic stance of South Africa itself: economic growth stalled and current account deficit widened again. Consumer spending was restrained with the high household indebtedness, investment climate worsened with the wave of bloody strikes, and net export was still prone to J-curve effect despite the degree of the devaluation happened. But, in its turn, those problems are a mere reflection of the deep institutional misbalances inherent to the very model of the national economy. Saving rate is too low in South Africa. This leads not only to an insufficient investment, but also to trade deficits and overdependence on speculative capital inflows. Extremely high unemployment means that the country’s economic potential is substantially underutilized. Joblessness is generated, first and foremost, by the dualistic structure of the national entrepreneurship. Basic wages are being formed by way of a bargaining between big public and semi state companies, on the one hand, and trade unions associated with the ruling party, on the other. Such a system is biased towards protection of vested interests of those who earn money in capital-intensive industries. At the same time, these rates of wages are prohibitively high for a small business; so far private companies tend to avoid job creation. A new impulse to economic development is likely to emerge only through the government’s efforts to mitigate disproportions and to pursue an active industrial policy. National Development Plan adopted in 2012 is a practical step in that direction. But the growth of public investment is constrained by a necessity of fiscal austerity; as a result, the budget deficit remained too large in recent years. South African Reserve Bank will have to choose between a stimulation of economic growth with low interest rates, on the one hand, and a support of rand by tightening of monetary policy, on the other. This dilemma will greatly influence prices of securities and yields at South African financial markets.


South Africa, emerging markets, devaluation, current account deficit, saving, unemployment, Gini coefficient, industrial policy, social policy, investment

Registered in system SCIENCE INDEX

For citation:
Mozias P. South African Economy: No Easy Life Ahead. Mirovaya ekonomika i mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya, 2015, No 1, pp. 104-116

Comments (0)

No comments

Add comment

Current Issue
Submit an Article

Dear readers!
Please note that free access to full-text issues of the Journal is being opened at our WEB-site after 6 months of the date of publications.The work on deepening the open archive of full-text issues will be continued.

Dear colleagues, authors and readers!
We kindly request you to turn to editor-in-chief and executive secretary directly concerning reviewing scientific publications in our journal. Only editor-in-chief takes decision on order and publication the reviews!

Dear readers!
This is to inform the researchers of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations that electronic versions of the I, II, III issues of 2020 of French magazine Politique étrangère are now available. Those who are interested, please personally address to the editorial staff of MEMO Journal (room 18-17) with an electronic media.

In response to the challenges of our time the Editorial board continues to open new thematic rubrics:

“World Energy Sector after Pandemic”. We plan to publish articles presenting in-depth analysis of influence of Pandemic on the global energy sector and forecasts of further developments in its various branches.

“Civilization processes of modern development” is a new rubric opened by MEMO Journal in 2020. It will be devoted to the analysis of the influence of civilizational factors and inter-civilizational interactions on the political and socio-economic development of the world at whole, regions and countries.

“Africa today and tomorrow”The rubric devoted to contemporary issues of Africa which is attracting growing interest of the world's leading actors. We plan to publish the articles analyzing the status of statehood, socio-economic and political development of the countries of Black continent, as well as the integration processes between them.


"World Eсonomy and International Relations" announces a contest for the best joint academic publications of domestic and foreign researchers and experts in topical issues of the world economy and international relations. The winners will be selected according to the results of peer reviewing and discussion at the Editorial Board. The articles will be published in priority order.


The print version of “World Economy and International Relations” journal is distributed by advance subscription only, and is not offered for retail sale. To subscribe please address to any post office in Russia by referring to the Federal Postal Service Union Catalogue, section “ARSMI”, the journal index is 70542. The subscription may be made for the whole subscription period or starting from any nearest available month for desired number of issues.

To purchase the full-text electronic version of the journal’s issue/article please address to the WEB portal of Scientific electronic library or URL:

In journal
2020 | 2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000 | 1999 | 1998 | 1997 |

The author’s opinions may not coincide with the position of editorial