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LISTEN | ‘Rich South Africans should be prepared to make sacrifices to make SA work’

Economist Michael Sachs says affluent households are pushing high consumption and the private sector could build the country for the public good

25 February 2022 - 09:11 By TimesLIVE
Economist Michael Sachs says government needs help for the country to succeed.
Economist Michael Sachs says government needs help for the country to succeed.

SA’s middle and upper class are going to have to make sacrifices if the country is to enter a corrected trajectory. 

This is according to economist and academic Michael Sachs, who said the private sector should help build capacity in government.

Listen to what he had to say: 

Sachs was speaking as part of the panel in a TimesLIVE post-budget webinar which largely focused on the role of government. 

 The discussion also touched on the role the private sector can play in resolving many structural problems hindering growth. 

“Why is SA not growing? This is not a new problem. I was born in 1971. SA has not been growing since I was born. In 1971, the global regime changed in many ways and since then SA has fallen behind in many ways and our productivity has been stagnating,” Sachs said. 

Sachs said there was a clear divide in the economy leading to the high cost of living. 

“One reason why we have a low growth environment is because we have high levels of consumption. The reason we have high consumption is because services are segregated, not necessarily between black and white but between the affluent and the rest of the population,” he said.

Listen to the full conversation here: 

“In SA, only the poor use public services and the affluent finance their education, healthcare and security services. In many respects, if you look at housing developments taking place in the country, its almost like they are constructing their own separate societyve. In in which they don’t depend on municipal government for anything.” 

To listen to previous episodes, go here.

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