The World Bank’s latest review of the SA economy is an attempt to steer policymakers’ focus back to forgotten reforms involving the labour market and small businesses. It believes these offer SA its best shot at counteracting the jobs carnage wrought by the pandemic.

These reforms — similar to proposals in finance minister Tito Mboweni’s 2019 growth document — have fallen off government’s radar screen or have been shelved for being too politically contentious. However, it’s extremely unlikely that SA will make significant inroads into youth unemployment until it tackles labour market reform...

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