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Palgrave Macmillan

South African Economy

Trails and Possibilities

  • Book
  • © 2024


  • Provides a comprehensive analysis of the South African economy since 1994
  • Explores the various important factors that have historically led to its poor performance
  • Examines potential solutions for improving the South African economy

Part of the book series: African Histories and Modernities (AHAM)

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About this book

The South African economy has largely performed below its potential. Although the size of the South African economy has significantly increased since 1994, its performance has lagged behind other comparable economies, and has even been overtaken by Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa. Unemployment, income inequality, and poverty have remained high since 1994. In the past decade, South African economic performance has been so poor that is has resulted in declining per capita incomes.

In this study, Vusi Gumede and his co-authors offer a comprehensive analysis of the South African economy since 1994, dealing with many important issues, ranging from its history to its political travails in an effort to provide better understanding and find possible solutions to ensuring inclusive growth.


Table of contents (8 chapters)


“â€Ĥa fresh look at the factors that initially supported the South African economy against those that eventually derailed the economy over the past three decades, with practical policy recommendations. The book is a valuable resource for students of economics, practitioners and policy makers.” – Zeph Nhleko, Chief Economist, Development Bank of Southern Africa

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mpumalanga, South Africa

    Vusi Gumede

  • University of Johannesburg, Auckland Park, South Africa

    Santos Bila, Mduduzi Biyase, Sodiq Arogundade

  • Cnr R40 and D725, University of Mpumalanga, Mbombela, South Africa

    Shonisani Chauke

About the authors

Vusi Gumede is the Dean for the Faculty of Economics, Development & Business Sciences at the University of Mpumalanga.

Santos Bila is with DST/NRF South African Research Chair in Industrial Development in the School of Economics at the University of Johannesburg.

Mduduzi Biyase is an associate professor of Economics in the School of Economics at the University of Johannesburg.

Shonisani Chauke is a lecturer in Economics in the School of Development Studies at the University of Mpumalanga.

Sodiq Arogundade is a research fellow and a part-time assistant lecturer in the School of Economics at the University of Johannesburg.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: South African Economy

  • Book Subtitle: Trails and Possibilities

  • Authors: Vusi Gumede, Santos Bila, Mduduzi Biyase, Shonisani Chauke, Sodiq Arogundade

  • Series Title: African Histories and Modernities

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: History, History (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2024

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-54179-7Published: 16 May 2024

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-54182-7Due: 16 June 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-54180-3Published: 15 May 2024

  • Series ISSN: 2634-5773

  • Series E-ISSN: 2634-5781

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XXIV, 208

  • Number of Illustrations: 5 b/w illustrations, 45 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: History of Sub-Saharan Africa, African History, Economic History, African Economics, African Politics

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