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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  08 Dec 2011

ECONOMY: SA on a Positive Development Trajectory

 





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The South African Development Index (SADI) has recorded its fourth consecutive increase for 2011.

The SADI is an initiative of the South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It aims to track South Africa’s development in six key areas: the economy, education, health, living conditions, gender, and crime. It releases four reports every year that track development levels against changes in these indicators.

This fourth and final SADI report for 2011 saw the score rise to 103.77 points from 102.96 points last quarter. The original SADI score was weighted to 100 points in December 2010.


Main Reason for Positive SA Development


The main contributor to the increased score in this fourth update were improvements in the gender indicators. Here the labour market participation rate of women increased from 47.1% in the third quarter last year to just over 48% in the same quarter for 2011. The number of professional female employees rose from 327 000 in the third quarter of 2010 to 373 000 in the third quarter of this year, an increase of 46 000 over a year. ‘We are very encouraged by this development,’ said Ms Catherine Schulze, researcher in charge of the project. ‘It suggests that inroads are being made into the traditionally male-dominated workplace.’

Mixed Results for Economic SA Development


There were mixed results for the economic component of the index. South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) seasonally adjusted and annualised at constant prices increased by 0.3% to R1 885 512bn in the second quarter of 2011. GDP per capita decreased by just under 1% or R359 to R37 273 in the second quarter. Unemployment figures also showed varying results. While the overall unemployment rate for the country declined by 1.19% to 25% the youth unemployment rate rose by 1.31% to 52%.

‘The increase in unemployment amongst the youth could be indicative of two related things,’ said Schulze. ‘First it could be a reflection of the poor standard of education that does not equip students adequately for the work place. The second reason may be that the labour market is not geared to accepting school leavers or graduates.’

In the SA Development education sector, the ratio of pupils to teachers in public schools has risen slightly to 30.3


 
 
 
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