This book examines the COVID-19 pandemic through socioeconomic lens that draw on history, approaches to state-market relations, and public policy perspectives In 2020, the world experienced the worst pandemic since the outbreak of the Spanish Flu of 1918, which continues to have farreaching implications for the global economy and triggered macro-economic dislocations that severely affected the most vulnerable countries and segments of society. This book was conceived as a response to the disruptive shifts induced by the pandemic, with a particular focus on South Africa. International experience has shown that countries and societies that have gone through tough economic times, either as a consequence of wars or economic depressions, have responded to crises by enacting unpopular policy measures based on difficult tradeoffs, which often made way for innovation. The authors outline policy responses to the COVID-19 crisis and propose several interventions to mitigate its effects. These include developing innovative approaches to fiscal and monetary policies, labour market policies, industrial policies, as well as social policies. Building state capabilities, improving the governance and performance of state institutions, and managing digital change are some of the clear policy interventions that are laid out in this book.
Introduction: Responding to Pandemics and Economic Challenges: Policy Choices Post Covid-19 (Mzukisi Qobo, Mills Soko & Nomfundo Xenia Ngwenya)
Reconstruction in the Aftermath of Global Health and Economic Crises: Historical Lessons for South Africa (Mzukisi Qobo, Mills Soko & Nomfundo Xenia Ngwenya)
Building State Capacities and Dynamic Capabilities to Drive Social and Economic Development: The Case of South Africa (Mariana Mazzucato, Mzukisi Qobo and Rainer Kattel)
Covid-19 and Beyond: Rethinking Industrial and Competition Policy (Nishal Robb & Thando Vilakazi)
Monetary and Fiscal Policy Challenges Posed by South Africa's Deepening Economic Crisis and the Covid-19 Pandemic (Nombulelo Gumata)
The Short-Term Labour Market Effects of South Africa's National Covid-19 Lockdown (Timothy Kohler, Haroon Bhorat, Robert Hill & Benjamin Stanwix)
Social Security and Social Protection in South Africa (Alex van den Heever)
Repositioning State-Owned Enterprises (SOES) and Development Finance Institutions (DFIS) (Garth L le Pere)
Energy Transition for Post Covid-19 South Africa (Iraj Abedian & Nthabiseng Tsoanamatise)
Future of Energy in South African and Prospects for Building Regional Value Chains (Hany Besada)
The Digital Divide in South Africa: Insights from the Covid-19 Experience and Beyond (Benno Ndulu, Nomfundo Xenia Ngwenya & Mathala Sethalogile)
From 'Crisis Compacting' to Resilient Social Contracts: Emerging Lessons from Covid-19 (Erin McCandless)
Conclusion: Building a Resilient State and Inclusive Society (Mzukisi Qobo, Mills Soko & Nomfundo Xenia Ngwenya)
Mzukisi Qobo is Head of School at the Wits School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He also serves on President Cyril Ramaphosa's Economic Advisory Council. His areas of expertise are in Public Policy, International Political Economy, and Geopolitics. He holds a Ph.D. in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick.
Mills Soko is Professor of International Business and Strategy at the Wits Business School, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He holds a Ph.D. in International Political Economy from the University of Warwick.
Nomfundo Xenia Ngwenya is Visiting Research Fellow at the Wits School of Governance, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. She is also Managing Director at NXN Analytics. She was previously Chief Director for African Economic Integration and head of BRICS at the National Treasury of South Africa. She holds a Ph.D. in International Studies from the University of Cambridge and M.Sc. in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics.