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Season of Hope: Economic Reform under Mandela and Mbeki

Alan Hirsch
University of KwaZulu-Natal Press, IDRC

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"An insightful, enlightening and solid economic history of South Africa's first decade of democracy."
—The Economist (1 December 2005)

When the African National Congress won the first democratic elections in 1994, South Africa was one of the most unequal societies in the world. How could an organization with no previous experience of governing and little history of economic policy development accomplish both a peaceful transition to democracy and set South Africa on a path toward sustained economic growth and development?

This book is an insider’s account of the way in which the ANC government addressed the enormous economic task it faced upon taking office and spans the presidency of Nelson Mandela and the first term of President Thabo Mbeki. The book analyzes the economic legacy of apartheid and the evolution of the ANC’s economic policy. It examines the pressing imperatives of globalization and trade and industrial policy, the labour market, black economic empowerment, the “two economies,” and measures to address poverty and inequality amongst South Africans. Season of Hope is an invaluable contribution to the literature of economies in transition.

The author

Alan Hirsch is Chief Director of Economic Policy at The Presidency, South Africa. He was previously Chief Director at the Department of Trade and Industry; Economics Lecturer and Director of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town; and Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Business School.