2002-03-25: South African Reserve Bank research department releases first in the series of Labour Markets and Social Frontiers reports
Last Modified Date:
2020-10-08, 08:14 PM
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The South African Reserve Bank’s research department today released its first report in a series entitled "Labour Markets and Social Frontiers". South Africa is at the stage when, more than ever before, the macroeconomic policy framework needs to engage with the labour markets and social policy discourse. The "Labour Markets and Social Frontiers" series is one of the efforts by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) to play a role in this policy nexus, from the perspective of its monetary policy mandate. The report is intended to stimulate debate, research and raise general awareness regarding the monetary policy, labour markets and social issues nexus. The report will be released twice a year and is aimed at a broader audience than the traditional ‘mainstream’ economists. To complement the Bank’s research publications, the content of this series will be factual with minimal use of technical language as a way of ensuring the widest accessibility. The "Labour Markets and Social Frontiers" reports are expected to demonstrate monetary policy’s links to the labour markets and related social issues. As with typical research material, it should be noted that the opinions contained in this series are not the official view of the SARB. As a platform for encouraging debate and exploring various issues in a research process, this publication contains thought processes by specialist researchers within the SARB. This is meant to be a participatory publication in that, for subsequent issues, the community of researchers, policy analysts and development practitioners will be invited to share their research findings, their ideas and engage across the multiplicity of disciplines and ‘stakeholder’ policy spheres. Highlights of the pilot issue The Bank’s mandate of fostering financial stability is meant to create an enabling environment for more global competitiveness, economic growth, employment expansion and general social upliftment for all South Africans. The achievement and sustainability of financial stability, in turn, requires social stability as well as an unwavering partnership between government, business, the labour movement and community-based organisations. In this first issue, the themes covered to identify these various interrelationships include wage bargaining and settlements and developments in the underlying labour relations. Indications are that the labour movement and employers have moved towards a more harmonious bargaining course. The process itself seems set to render the economy more competitive in that, firstly, productivity has become a pivotal bargaining tool and, secondly, greater emphasis is being put on skills development as part of the settlement outcomes. The wage bargaining process also shows signs of sensitivity to the country’s inflation targets. The pilot volume also engages with topical social issues including the likely impact of privatisation on the accessibility of basic social services to the poor. Against the backdrop of South Africa’s performance in the delivery of services such as piped water, electricity and sanitation, the discussion highlights the logic behind privatisation and its implications for the pursuit of financial stability. The ostensible links between the stability of the rand and, among other things, Zimbabwe ’s handling of the land issue are also examined in this volume.