In the media
South Africa’s civil servants are the country’s new labour elite
“Public sector trade unions were able to secure earnings for their members at a rate 40% higher than non-unionised employees in the private sector with the same skills and other characteristics, says an economic analysis by the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town.” - Business Day, 24 Feb 2016,
Haroon Bhorat’s, Kubeen Naidoo’s, and Kavisha Pillay’s article 'South Africa’s civil servants are the country’s new labour elite' was published in the Conversation on 19 February 2016. The piece was picked up by Business Day and Eyewitness News.
The article discusses an estimated wage wedge between unionised public sector workers and other formal non-agricultural workers in the labour market. The authors argue the rise of public sector employment in South Africa has a much greater potential import than the private sector for the future trajectory of the economy’s employment path.
The article is based on a working paper titled Demographic, employment, and wage trends in South Africa, which is part of a collaboration between UNU-WIDER, the Brookings Institution and the Development Policy Research Unit (DPRU) at the University of Cape Town. The study is part of UNU-WIDER’s research project Understanding the African lions – growth traps and opportunities in six dominant African economies.