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A paper by RESEP’s Servaas van der Berg and Heleen Hofmeyr, titled “An incomplete transition – overcoming the legacy of exclusion in South Africa”, is now available on the World Bank’s website. The World Bank commissioned this paper from RESEP as a background paper to the World Bank Systematic Country Diagnostic of South Africa’s economic system. Van der Berg and Hofmeyr’s paper presents a high-level diagnostic of the whole South African education system’s performance and deficiencies. This furthermore fed into the World Bank’s analysis, which identified five binding constraints to economic development in South Africa.

Insufficient skills, the first of the constraints identified by the World Bank, are directly related to South Africa’s education deficiencies. The World Bank’s diagnostic furthermore identified the following binding constraints:
• skewed distribution of land and productive assets, and weak property rights;
• low competition and low integration in global and regional value chains;
• limited or expensive connectivity and under- serviced historically disadvantaged settlements;
• and climate shocks: transition to low-carbon economy and increasing water insecurity.

It is pertinent to remember that RESEP also applied a Binding Constraints approach to school education. In this report, RESEP identified four such constraints, including:
• weak institutional functionality;
• undue union influence;
• weak teacher content knowledge and pedagogical skills;
• and wasted learning time and insufficient opportunity to learn.

The full references to the World Bank report and Van der Berg and Hofmeyr’s background paper appear below.

Van der Berg, Servaas; Hofmeyr, Heleen. 2018. Education in South Africa: background note for the South Africa systematic country diagnostic. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.

World Bank. 2018. South Africa – Systematic country diagnostic: An incomplete transition – overcoming the legacy of exclusion in South Africa. Washington, D.C.: World Bank.