Gemma Wright
3 minute read
31 Oct 2019
6:45 am

Think Piece: What should be tackled urgently through empirical policy making

Gemma Wright

Our work has revealed the extent to which the vast majority of people in South Africa don’t have a standard of living that is regarded as decent.

A view of Sandton City, the richest square mile in Africa, towering over impoverished Alexandra township, in Johannesburg. Picture: EPA / Kim Ludbrook

Policy makers are faced with a vast array of urgent and competing challenges with very limited resources. They also have to balance the priorities of government, business, labour and communities which sometimes pull in different directions. In this context it is easy to lose the big picture of the direction in which the country hopes to move. Recent work we have undertaken reveals several important big picture issues. Firstly we have shown that there is a broad level of agreement about what comprises a decent standard of living in South Africa that should be enjoyed by everyone. This is an...