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Pretoria, South Africa

Pieterse D.,National Treasury
Health Economics (United Kingdom)

Many South African children experience maltreatment, but we know little about the effects on long-term child development. Using the only representative dataset that includes a module on childhood maltreatment for a metropolitan city in South Africa, we explore the association between different measures of childhood maltreatment and two educational outcomes (numeracy test scores and dropout). Our study provides an estimate of the association between childhood maltreatment and educational outcomes in a developing country where maltreatment is high. We control for potential confounders using a range of statistical techniques and add several robustness checks to evaluate the strength of our findings. Our results indicate that children who are maltreated suffer large adverse consequences in terms of their numeracy test scores and probability of dropout and that the estimated effects of maltreatment are larger and more consistent for the most severe type of maltreatment. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Source

Ntuli H.,National Treasury | Inglesi-Lotz R.,University of Pretoria | Chang T.,Feng Chia University | Pouris A.,University of Pretoria
Journal of the Association for Information Science and Technology

The causal relation between research and economic growth is of particular importance for political support of science and technology as well as for academic purposes. This article revisits the causal relationship between research articles published and economic growth in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries for the period 1981-2011, using bootstrap panel causality analysis, which accounts for cross-section dependency and heterogeneity across countries. The article, by the use of the specific method and the choice of the country group, makes a contribution to the existing literature. Our empirical results support unidirectional causality running from research output (in terms of total number of articles published) to economic growth for the US, Finland, Hungary, and Mexico; the opposite causality from economic growth to research articles published for Canada, France, Italy, New Zealand, the UK, Austria, Israel, and Poland; and no causality for the rest of the countries. Our findings provide important policy implications for research policies and strategies for OECD countries. © 2015 ASIS&T. Source

News Article
Site: http://www.reuters.com

Cattle are supplied with water at a farm outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. A cow is seen near a dry river outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. The remains of a cow are seen on a dry riverbed outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. Talent Cele, a new farmer, is seen at his farm outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. Cattle are seen at a farm outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. Nampie Motloung (R), a subsistence black South African farmer, is seen with his wife Khatherine at their farm outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. Livestock drink from a drying river outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. The remains of a cow are seen on a dry riverbed outside Utrecht, a small town in the northwest of KwaZulu-Natal, November 8, 2015. "I have no choice but to sell some of my cows. I must do it before they die," Motloung, 62, told Reuters as his 30-strong herd ambled in the distance across the parched landscape. "It pains me to do so. My cattle are my family's inheritance," he said. The wealth of small-scale farmers and the dreams of emerging black commercial farmers are evaporating as South Africa's worst drought since the end of apartheid rule in 1994 scorches the land. The state's response could be politically crucial. The ruling African National Congress (ANC) government relies heavily on rural areas and local elections loom next year. KwaZulu Natal province, an ANC stronghold where Motloung resides and the Zulu heartland where President Jacob Zuma hails from, is one of the worst affected. It has already been declared a disaster for water shortages, which will allow it to access some of the 364 million rand ($26 million) the National Treasury has allocated this financial year for immediate disaster relief. Driving through the rolling hills of the province's Amajuba district reveals a stark landscape, the green foliage of hardy thorn trees unfolding over brown and withered fields. Along one dusty road, a Reuters crew saw a dying cow stuck in the hardening mud, its head beneath the wire of a fence where it had tried to get a last drink from a vanishing puddle. After drought last year cut South Africa's staple maize crop by a third, a powerful El Nino weather pattern - which typically heralds poor rains for the region - is forecast to persist for most of the summer and perhaps extend into the autumn. South African livestock farmers were urged by the government last week to cut herd sizes as sizzling temperatures suck moisture from pastures, leaving them without the grass or nutrients to accommodate numbers that in some cases have been built up for decades as a store of family wealth. Commercial agriculture is also affected, including new black farmers who have benefited from a government drive to redress the racial imbalances of the past by buying white-owned farms for redistribution to Africans. Critics say many of the transferred farms have failed as new-comers lack capital and skills. But there have been success stories, notably in KwaZulu Natal. Analysts say if some of them start failing because of the drought it could erode the ANC's rural base. "Some of the medium-sized farmers in KwaZulu Natal have been a success story and so it would be quite a blow to the party if they failed now even if it doesn’t seem fair because it is weather-related," said political analyst Nic Borain. Talent Cele, an affable 27-year-old Zulu with a self-proclaimed passion for working the land, is one of the new black farmers who is desperate for rain. The almost 600-hectare farm he manages - formerly white-owned, being worked by a black cooperative - is bleeding its cattle in a vicious cycle. "I have to sell cattle to buy feed because we have been advised to reduce the numbers. But feed is expensive and I also want to plant maize to feed the cows but I cannot. It is too dry," he told Reuters. Yellow maize, used mostly for animal feed, has been hitting year highs above 3,000 rand a tonne, according to Thomson Reuters' data, because of the weather. Cele has been selling 25 cattle a month, bringing his herd size to 225 from around 350. The average price for a good animal has also fallen to 6,000 rand from 10,000. The ANC's political problems are also rooted in its perceived failure to deliver basic services such as water and decent roads to many black communities, a situation that has given rise to regular riots by frustrated residents. Decaying infrastructure in water utilities has also become glaringly apparent recently, raising the risk of shortages. By contrast, in parts of rural KwaZulu Natal the ANC has delivered admirably, solidifying its political support in the Zulu countryside. But its remaining shortcomings there may be amplified by the drought. "It’s a perfect storm for the ANC as the evidence of the state of the water supply and a natural catastrophe converge," said Borain. Back at Motloung's plot, he complains that his family must fetch water hundreds of meters (yards) away from a pump at Cele's farm. And his dam has dried up, so his cattle have to be watered laboriously by hand. "I have gone to the local council but they have done nothing," he said.

Alton T.,National Treasury | Arndt C.,Copenhagen University | Davies R.,National Treasury | Hartley F.,National Treasury | And 3 more authors.
Applied Energy

South Africa is considering introducing a carbon tax to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Following a discussion of the motivations for considering a carbon tax, we evaluate potential impacts using a dynamic economywide model linked to an energy sector model including a detailed evaluation of border carbon adjustments. Results indicate that a phased-in carbon tax of US$30 per ton of CO2 can achieve national emissions reductions targets set for 2025. Relative to a baseline with free disposal of CO2, constant world prices and no change in trading partner behavior, the preferred tax scenario reduces national welfare and employment by about 1.2 and 0.6 percent, respectively. However, if trading partners unilaterally impose a carbon consumption tax on South African exports, then welfare/employment losses exceed those from a domestic carbon tax. South Africa can lessen welfare/employment losses by introducing its own border carbon adjustments. The mode for recycling carbon tax revenues strongly influences distributional outcomes, with tradeoffs between growth and equity. © 2013 The Authors. Source

Blecher M.S.,National Treasury | Meheus F.,Institute of Tropical Medicine | Kollipara A.,National Treasury | Hecht R.,Results for Development | And 3 more authors.

South Africa provides a useful country case study for financing vaccinations. It has been an early adopter of new vaccinations and has financed these almost exclusively from domestic resources, largely through general taxation. National vaccination policy is determined by the Department of Health, based on advice from a national advisory group on immunisation. Standard health economic criteria of effectiveness, cost-effectiveness, affordability and burden of disease are used to assess whether new vaccinations should be introduced. Global guidelines and the advice of local and international experts are also helpful in making the determination to introduce new vaccines. In terms of recent decisions to introduce new vaccines against pneumococcal disease and rotavirus diarrhoea in children, the evidence has proved unequivocal. Universal rollout has been implemented even though this has led to a fivefold increase in national spending on vaccines. The total cost to government remains below 1-1.5% of public expenditures for health, which is viewed by the South African authorities as affordable and necessary given the number of lives saved and morbidity averted. To manage the rapid increase in domestic spending, efforts have been made to scale up coverage over several years, give greater attention to negotiating price reductions and, in some cases, obtain initial donations or frontloaded deliveries to facilitate earlier universal rollout. There has been strong support from a wide range of stakeholders for the early introduction of new generation vaccines. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. Source

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