Reform implementation

Nomvuyo Guma presents key insights on South African economic reforms

October 2023

Nomvuyo Guma, Chief Director for Microeconomic Policy at the National Treasury, and policy lead on SA-TIED work stream 6 recently presented a research paper at the International Winelands Conference hosted by Stellenbosch University. The conference, known academic excellence, marked its 17th edition by focusing on the critical theme of reimagining public servant leadership in a post-capture, post-pandemic governance landscape.

Guma's paper delves into the economic challenges faced by South Africa following a decade of expansion post-apartheid, followed by over a decade of economic stagnation. The paper explores the structural weaknesses within the South African economy, including issues such as electricity supply, logistics, government bureaucracy, and skills shortages. These factors have been identified as limitations on the country's economic growth and job creation potential. The paper also highlights the essential role of the structural transformation and inclusive development, an (SA-TIED) initiative, which aims to support the implementation of structural reforms necessary to unlock higher levels of economic growth in South Africa. This endeavor is backed by strong investments from both the National Treasury and the Presidency, who are jointly responsible for Operation Vulindlela (OV), an economic reform programme.

SA-TIED and Operation Vulindlela have set their sights on crucial reforms in network industries, including electricity, digital communications, water, and freight transport. These reforms are seen as pivotal for driving sustainable economic growth and ensuring a more inclusive and equitable economic landscape. The success of OV is attributed to its government-wide approach. A dedicated OV unit oversees the progress of these reforms, identifies challenges, and offers support to expedite implementation. This unit comprises experts from the National Treasury and the Presidency and draws on a network of South African specialists when necessary.