The discussion is based on two papers: “Building back fairer from the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa: Some first step reforms in an era of fiscal constraints”, by Channing Arndt, Robert J. Davies, Sherwin Gabriel, Laurence Harris, Michael Sachs and Dirk van Seventer and “Building a competitive and dynamic green industrial sector in South Africa” by Tendai Gwatidzo and Witness Simbanegavi (see below).
While the former focuses on skills, food systems, nutrition and health, and urban structure, the latter focuses on the importance of green energy for a sustainable future. Together, these papers explore how we can use our existing infrastructure and fiscal environment to become more efficient in the short run and work towards a green sustainable economy in the long run. Looking forward requires an honest reflection of the learnings from the past, and a concerted effort to prioritise green energy.
- How dependent is future growth on green industrialization policies?
- Can we shift electricity production from coal to renewables without compromising short term economic growth and employment?
- In the context of the pandemic and increasing climate change, can SA leverage green technology and lead Africa in producing green output?
- Given the tight fiscal position, how can growth be pursued such that policies are less dependent on investment in the short run?
- How can we use the pandemic learnings as an opportunity to leapfrog the South African economy towards a long-term sustainable future and overcome the trajectory we were on prior to the pandemic?