No modern economy remains the same over time; change is the order of the day annually, cyclically, structurally. Whereas seasonal and cyclical changes follow a fluctuating pattern, structural changes are longer-term shifts in the fundamental nature of the economy and are not easily reversed. These longer-term changes are driven by intentional policies as well as by unintentional effects of economic processes. In the case of SA, its "openness" to trade — the fact that a relatively high proportion of its economic activity is due to imports and exports — makes it more vulnerable to global economic shifts than if it was less open. The effects of these globalisation forces and domestic economic policies have brought the South African economy to the state it is today — far from the envisaged prosperous and egalitarian ideal. In fact, there is more inequality today than in the mid-1990s when the democratic state was in its infancy. This can be explained by the declining share of value appr...

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