• Presentation

Whither SA’s education investment? A rights and skills agenda


Crouch, L., & Patel, F. (2006, September). Whither SA's education investment? A rights and skills agenda. Presented at DBSA/HSRC/Wits NEPAD Conference #8220;Investment Choices for Education In Africa#8221;, Johannesburg, South Africa.


This paper takes stock of the main trends in South African education investment in the past 10 years (the period since the end of apartheid), but within the context of the longer-term trends in investment that predated the transition of 1994. It explains how those patterns conditioned the choices available to the new democratic government in the period 1994 to 1998 or so, and how these choices set in motion certain dynamics whose consequences had to be dealt with over the period 1998 onwards. At this point in SA’s history there are key choices that are still largely defined by long-term structural problems, in spite of much innovation and effort during the past ten years. Overcoming these efforts will require more focus on a agenda that could perhaps be thought of as a “rights and skills” agenda. By “investment” in this paper we mean a broad concept, as suggested by the agency sponsoring the seminar at which the paper is being given, namely all education expenditure, not just that which pertains to infrastructure or durable goods. The paper is organized as follows. First, we note some of the background issues at the end of apartheid. We then go on to note how these issues conditioned the nature of the investment patterns and tools developed by the new government. The results are then analyzed briefly. We then take stock of the existing situation and problems, and propose areas that still need attention and renewed commitment.