State, Business and Growth in Post-Apartheid South Africa


This paper explores the relationship between ‘state-business relations’ (SBRs) and pro-poor growth in South Africa. Part 1 provides a brief outline of the document and then provides a summary of the central narrative about South African SBRs and the lack of pro-poor growth both before and after the democratic transition. Sub-sections 1.1 to 1.5 touch on the growth and distributional challenges faced by the postapartheid government, the structural inheritance that constrained policy options and the way in which SBRs have worked in practice. The rest of the document provides a more detailed theoretical and empirical discussion of elements of this narrative, but on a more thematic basis. The paper traces the important role of the large corporations in facilitating the democratic transition. The authors argue that a product of this heady transitional period, the National Economic, Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), failed to live up to its promise as an institutional forum for forging consensual social and economic policies.


Discussion Paper Series, Research Programme Consortium for Improving Institutions for Pro-Poor Growth, Manchester, UK, No. 34, 77 pp.

State, Business and Growth in Post-Apartheid South Africa

Published 1 January 2010