Transformation and development towards a fully inclusive society and economy in the City of Johannesburg, South Africa


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This paper analyzes the state of economic growth and development in the City of Johannesburg (COJ) South Africa as by the year 2016 and presents a case for transformation and development of the City towards a fully inclusive economy and society. The research reveals that faster and sustainable economic growth in addition to proactive pro-equity policies are a sine qua non for inclusive growth and participation in the City, where the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment persist more than 20 years into the democratic dispensation. During the last 17 years the City economy has grown at almost the same pace as the national South African economy with a trend reflective of major world economic events. Going forward, the South African economy is projected to grow at less 2% annually in the next 3 years. In terms of the City, the prognosis is that the City will either continue to trace the national economic growth rate or decline from 2% in 2016 to 1% in 2018. In order to achieve the objectives and goals of the Johannesburg 2040 Growth and Development Strategy in the long term and the City Integrated Development Plan in the medium term, the City leadership and administration will need to begin by not only addressing factors that inhibit economic efficiency including crime and corruption, but also the provision of a critical pipeline of skills required by industry in order to attract local and international investment. The increase in investment is expected to broaden the revenue base and to strengthen the financial capacity of the City to roll out services to the previously disadvantaged communities so as to bring them into the mainstream of economic empowerment and social transformation.

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    • Fig. 1. Theoretical model for inclusive economic growth
    • Fig. 2. Year on year GDP growth rate, 2010 constant prices SA and COJ
    • Fig. 3. COJ primary, secondary and tertiary sector structural change 1996-2017
    • Fig. 4. Overview of growth of all economic sectors in COJ: 2010 R’000 constant prices
    • Fig. 5. Gross value added composition of the COJ 2014
    • Fig. 6. COJ formal employment trends 10 sectors 1996-2014
    • Fig. 7. The unemployment rate by metro 2015
    • Fig. 8. Growth in the number of persons/households in the different income categories census 2001/2011
    • Fig. 9. Major city revenue and income sources
    • Fig. 10. COJ capital expenditure budgets
    • Fig. 11. COJ gross fixed investment per broad sector
    • Fig. 12. The COJ import and export trends 2004-2014 current prices
    • Table 1. Doing business in Johannesburg in comparison to other South African metros