• Economic Essays Grade 12

Grade 12 Economic Essays for the Next Three-Year Cycle (2021-2023)

  • Discuss in detail the markets within the FOUR-SECTOR model (Circular Flow)

Discuss in detail 'The new economic paradigm'/Explain the 'smoothing of cycles (Business Cycles)

Discuss in detail the features underpinning forecasting (Business Cycles)

Discuss in detail the main objectives of the public sector in the economy (Public Sector)

Discuss in detail the reason(s) for public sector failure (link them to typical problems experienced through public sector provisioning) (Public Sector)

Discuss in detail the reasons for international trade (Foreign Exchange Markets)

  • Discuss in detail export promotion (Protectionism and FreeTrade)

Discuss in detail the arguments in favour of protectionism (Protectionism and Free Trade)

Discuss in detail the demand-side approach in promoting growth and development in South Africa (Growth and development)

Discuss in detail the following South African growth and development policies and strategic initiatives (Growth and development)

Discuss in detail South Africa's initiaties (endeavours) in regional development (Industrial Development Policies)

Discuss in detail the following economic indicators (Economic and Social Performance Indicators

Discuss in detail the following social indicators (Economic and Social Performance Indicators)

Discuss in detail the various equilibrium positions with the aid of graphs-PERFECT MARKET (Perfect Market)

  • Discuss the monopoly in detail (with/without the aid of graphs) (Imperfect Market)

Examine the oligopoly in detail (Imperfect Market)

  • Compare and contrast any TWO types of market structures  

Discuss in detail how the following factors lead to the misallocation of resources in the market (Market Failures)

Discuss in detail state intervention as a consequence of market failures, with the aid of relevant graphs (Market Failures)

Discuss in detail the consequences of inflation (Inflation)

Discuss in detail the measures to combat demand-pull and/or cost-push inflation (Inflation)

Examine in detail the effects of tourism (Tourism)

Examine in detail the benefits of tourism (Tourism)

Discuss in detail how the government can ensure sustainable development (Environmental Sustainability)

  • Discuss in detail the following problems and the international measures taken to ensure sustainable development (Environmental Sustainability)


Macroeconomics- paper1.

Discuss in detail the markets within the FOUR-SECTOR model (Circular Flow) INTRODUCTION The economy of a country is regarded as an open economy because of the presence of households, producers, government, foreign sector and financial sector as active participants in the economy. Markets link the participants in the economy 🗸🗸 [Max 2]


  • These are the markets for consumer goods and services🗸🗸
  • Goods are defined as tangible items, like food, clothes, cars, etc. that satisfies some human wants or needs🗸🗸
  • Buying and selling of goods that are produced in markets e.g. 🗸🗸
  • Capital Goods market for trading of buildings and machinery🗸🗸
  • Consumer goods market for trading of durable consumer goods, semi-durable consumer goods and non-durable consumer goods. 🗸🗸
  • Services are defined as non-tangible actions and include wholesale and retail, transport and financial markets. 🗸🗸


  • Households sell factors of production on the markets: rent for natural resources, wages for labour interest for capital and profit for entrepreneurship🗸🗸
  • The factor market includes the labour, property and financial markets. 🗸🗸
  • The market where services of factors of production are traded e.g. labour is hired and capital is borrowed – these services earn wages, interest, rent and profits🗸🗸


  • They are not directly involved in the production of good and services, but act as a link between households , the business sector and other participants with surplus finds🗸🗸
  • E.g. banks, insurance companies and pension funds🗸


  • In the money markets short term loans, and very short term funds are saved and borrowed by consumers and business enterprises 🗸🗸
  • Products sold in the market are bank debentures, treasury bills and government bonds 🗸🗸
  • The simplest form exists when parties make demand and short-term deposits and borrow on short term 🗸🗸
  • The SARB is the key institution in the money market🗸🗸


  • In the capital markets long term funds are borrowed and saved by consumers and the business sector🗸🗸
  • The Johannesburg Security Exchange (JSE) is a key institution in the capital 🗸🗸
  • Products sold in this market are mortgage bonds and shares🗸🗸


  • On the foreign exchange markets businesses buy/ sell foreign currency to pay for imported goods and services🗸🗸
  • These transactions occur in banks and consists of electronic money transfers from one account to another🗸🗸
  • The leading centres/ most important foreign exchange markets are in London, New York and Tokyo 🗸🗸
  • e.g. traveller’s cheques to travel abroad🗸
  • Flows of private and public goods and services are real flows and they are accompanied by counter flows of expenditure and taxes on the product market🗸🗸
  • Factor services are real flows and they are accompanied by counter flows of income on the factor market🗸🗸
  • Imports and exports are real flows and are accompanied by counter flows of expenditure and revenue on the foreign exchange market🗸🗸[Max 26]
  • A change in investment of R 10m will result in a change in income of R 20m🗸🗸
  • An increase in investment causes the expenditure function to shift upwards from C1 to C2 so that C1 is parallel to C2🗸🗸
  • The effect of the increase in investment is that the total expenditure will increase from R 20m to R 30m🗸🗸
  • The increase in the value of output (Y) is greater than the increase in the expenditure (E) 🗸🗸 (Explanation must comply with the figures supplied in the graphical presentation) [Max 4] [Max 10]

CONCLUSION The circular flow ensures continued interdependence and coordination of the economic activities in the economy / markets are critically important institutions in our economic system, because they regulate the supply and demand and safeguard price stability and general business confidence. 🗸🗸 [Any other relevant conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION The new economic paradigm in terms of the smoothing of business cycles discourages monetary policy makers from using monetary and fiscal policies to fine tune the economy but rather encourages achieving stability through sound long term decisions relating to demand and supply in the economy/smoothing out the painful part of economic down-fall that is part of the market economy🗸🗸 (Accept other relevant definition/description of smoothing/new economic paradigm). [Max 2]

BODY: MAIN PART The new economic paradigm is embedded in the demand and supply side policies. 🗸🗸

Demand-side policies

  • It focuses on aggregate demand in the economy🗸🗸
  • When households, firms and the government spend more, demand in the economy increases. 🗸🗸
  • This makes the economy grow but lead to inflation.🗸🗸
  • Aggregate demand increases more quickly than aggregate supply and this causes price increases. 🗸🗸
  • If the supply does not react to the increase in demand, prices will increase. 🗸🗸
  • This will lead to inflation (a sustained and considerable in the general price level) 🗸🗸


  • Demand-side policies are effective in stimulating economic growth. 🗸🗸
  • Economic growth can lead to an increase in demand for labour. 🗸🗸
  • As a result more people will be employed and unemployment will increase. 🗸🗸
  • As unemployment decreases inflation is likely to increase. 🗸🗸
  • This relationship between unemployment and inflation is illustrated in the Phillips curve. 🗸🗸
  • The PC curve shows the initial situation. A is the point of intersection of the PC curve with the x- axis. It shows the natural rate of unemployment, for instance 14%🗸🗸
  • At point A inflation rate is zero. 🗸🗸
  • If unemployment falls to C for instance, 8%, inflation caused by wage increases is at 6%.🗸🗸
  • If unemployment increases from C to B to A, inflation falls from 6% to 2% to 0%.🗸🗸

Supply-side policies Reduction of costs 🗸

  • Infrastructural services: reasonable charge and efficient transport, communication, water
  • services and energy supply. 🗸🗸
  • Administrative costs: these costs include inspection, reports on applications
  • of various laws, regulations and by-laws, tax returns and returns providing statistical
  • information.
  • It adds to costs and businesses carry a heavy burden 🗸🗸
  • Cash incentives: it includes subsidies for businesses to locate in neglected areas where unemployment is high and compensation to exporters for certain costs they
  • incurred in development of export markets. 🗸🗸

Improving the efficiency of inputs 🗸

  • Tax rates: low tax rates can serve as an incentive to workers. It will improve the productivity and output. 🗸🗸
  • Capital consumption: replacing capital goods regularly creates opportunities for businesses to keep up with technological development and better outputs🗸🗸
  • Human resource development: to improve the quality of manpower by improving health care, education and training. 🗸🗸
  • Free advisory service: these promote opportunities to export. 🗸🗸

Improving the efficiency of markets 🗸

  • Deregulation: removal of laws, regulations and by-laws and other forms of government controls makes the market free. 🗸🗸
  • Competition: encourages the establishment of new businesses 🗸🗸
  • Levelling the play field: private businesses cannot compete with public enterprises 🗸🗸 Answers must be in full sentences and well described with examples to be able to obtain 2 marks per fact. Learners should be awarded 1 mark per heading or sub-heading to a maximum of 8 marks. (8 x 1) (8) [Max 26]

Explanation: The above graph shows:

  • Aggregate demand (AD) and aggregate supply (AS) are in equilibrium at point C. 🗸🗸
  • If aggregate demand is stimulated so that it moves to AD1 and aggregate supply responds promptly and relocates at AS1; a larger real output becomes available without any price increases. 🗸🗸
  • Supply is often sticky and fixed in the short term. 🗸🗸
  • Therefore, if aggregate demand increases to AD1 and aggregate supply does not respond, intersection is at point F. Real production increases but so does the price, in other words, with more inflation. 🗸🗸
  • The aggregate demand locates at any position to the left of AS1 inflation prevails. 🗸🗸
  • The solution is to create conditions that ensure supply is more flexible. 🗸🗸
  • If the cost of increasing production is completely flexible, a great real output can be supplied at any given price level. 🗸🗸 [Max 10]

CONCLUSION It is clear from the discussion above that it is critically important to manage the aggregate supply and demand to ensure stability in the economy. 🗸🗸 [Accept any relevant higher order conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION Accurate prediction is not possible in Economics. The best the economists can do is to try and forecast what might happen. There are a number of techniques available to help economists to forecast business cycles, e.g. economic indicators 🗸🗸 OR Successive periods of contraction and expansion of economic activities 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant introduction] [Max 2]

BODY: MAIN PART Business cycle indicators Leading economic indicators 🗸

  • These are indicators that change before the economy changes / coincide with the reference turning point 🗸🗸
  • They give consumers, business leaders and policy makers a glimpse (advance warnings) of where the economy might be heading. 🗸🗸
  • Peak before a peak in aggregate economic activity is reached.
  • Most important type of indicator in helping economists to predict what the economy will be like in the future 🗸🗸
  • When these indicators rise, the level of economic activities will also rise in a few months' time/an upswing 🗸🗸
  • E.g. job advertising space/inventory/sales ratio🗸

Coincident economic indicators🗸

  • They move at the same time as the economy / if the turning point of a specific time series variable coincides with the reference turning point🗸🗸
  • It indicates the actual state of the economy🗸🗸
  • E.g. value of retail sales. 🗸
  • If the business cycle reaches a peak and then begins to decline, the value of retail sales will reach a peak and then begin to decline at same time🗸🗸

Lagging economic indicators🗸

  •  They do not change direction until after the business cycle has changed its direction🗸🗸
  • They serve to confirm the behaviour of co-incident indicators🗸🗸
  • E.g. the value of wholesalers' sales of machinery🗸
  • If the business cycle reaches a peak and begins to decline, we are able to predict the value of new machinery sold🗸🗸

Composite indicator🗸

  • It is a summary of the various indicators of the same type into a single value🗸🗸
  • Their values are consolidated into a single value , if this is done we find a value of a composite leading , coincident and lagging indicator🗸🗸 Accept ONE example from the table below:
  • This is the time that it takes for a business cycle to move through one complete cycle (measured from peak to peak) 🗸🗸
  • It is useful to know the length because the length tends to remain relatively constant over time.🗸🗸
  • If a business cycle has the length of 10 years it can be predicted that 10 years will pass between successive peaks or troughs in the economy. 🗸🗸
  • Longer cycles show strength. 🗸🗸
  • Cycles can overshoot. 🗸🗸

Ways to measure lengths:

  • Crisis to crisis 🗸🗸
  • Historical records 🗸🗸
  • Consensus on businesses experience 🗸🗸

Amplitude 🗸

  • It is the difference between the total output between a peak and a trough. 🗸🗸
  • It measures the distance of the oscillation of a variable from the trend line / It is the intensity (height) of the upswing and downswing (contraction and expansion) in economic activity 🗸🗸
  • A large amplitude during an upswing indicates strong underlying forces – which result in longer cycles 🗸🗸
  •  The larger the amplitude the more extreme the changes that may occur / extent of change 🗸🗸
  • E.g. During the upswing inflation may increase from 5% to 10%. (100% increase) 🗸🗸
  •  A trend is the movement of the economy in a general direction. 🗸🗸
  • It usually has a positive slope because the production capacity of the economy increases over time 🗸🗸
  • Also known as the long term growth potential of the economy. 🗸🗸
  • The diagram above illustrates an economy which is growing – thus an upward trend (positive slope) 🗸🗸
  • Trends are useful because they indicate the general direction in which the economy is moving – it indicates the rate of increase or decrease in the level of output🗸🗸

Extrapolation 🗸

  • Forecasters use past data e.g. trends and by assuming that this trend will continue, they make predictions about the future🗸🗸
  • Means to estimate something unknown from facts or information that are known 🗸🗸
  • if it becomes clear that the business cycle has passed through a trough and has entered a boom phase, forecasters might predict that the economy will grow in the months that follow 🗸🗸
  • It is also used to make economic predictions in other settings e.g. prediction of future share prices🗸🗸

Moving average 🗸

  • It is a statistical analytical tool that is used to analyse the changes that occur in a series of data over a certain period of time / repeatedly calculating a series of different average values along a time series to produce a smooth curve 🗸🗸
  • The moving average could be calculated for the past three months in order to smooth out any minor fluctuations 🗸🗸
  • It is calculated to iron out (minimize) small fluctuations and reveal long-term trends in the business cycle🗸🗸 Answers must be in full sentences and well described with examples to be able to obtain 2 marks per fact. Learners should be awarded 1 mark per 8 headings and examples. [8 x 1=8] [Max 26]


  • An expansionary monetary policy is implemented when the economy is in recession in order to stimulate economic activities. 🗸🗸
  • Interest rates can be reduced to encourage spending. 🗸🗸
  • Households and firms can borrow more and spend more. 🗸🗸
  •  The increased spending increases the level of economic activity. 🗸🗸
  • Investment will increase and more factors of production will be employed. 🗸🗸
  • Higher levels of production, income and expenditure will be achieved. 🗸🗸
  • If the supply of goods and services does not increase in line with an increase in demand, inflation will increase. 🗸🗸
  • Inflation can be curbed by reducing money supply and availability of credit. 🗸🗸
  • To dampen demand at the peak the government will be able to reduce the money supply by increasing interest rates. 🗸🗸
  • Selling government bonds and securities (open market transactions) and reduce the supply of money in circulation. 🗸🗸
  • Increase the cash reserve requirements to manipulate money creation activities of banks. 🗸🗸
  • Persuade banks to decrease lending (moral suasion) 🗸🗸
  • To devaluate the exchange rate (exchange rate policy) 🗸🗸 [Max 10]

CONCLUSION It remain clear that business cycles must be clearly monitored through the indicators available, policy makers must act quickly by using monetary and fiscal instruments in order to prevent instability in the economy. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION: The government provides goods and services that are under supplied by the market and therefore plays a major role in regulating economic activity and guiding and shaping the economy. 🗸🗸 [Max 2]

BODY: MAIN PART Objectives:

Economic growth 🗸

  • Refer to an increase in the production of goods and services 🗸🗸
  • Measured in terms of Real GDP 🗸🗸
  • For economic growth to occur, the economic growth rate must be higher than Population growth 🗸🗸
  • Growth and development in a country benefit its citizens because it often leads to a higher standard of living 🗸🗸

Full employment 🗸

  • It is when all the people who want to work, who are looking for a job must be able to get a job 🗸🗸
  • High levels of employment is the most important economic objective of the government 🗸🗸
  • The unemployment rate increased over the past few years 🗸🗸
  • Informal sector activities must be promoted because it is an area where employment increase 🗸🗸

Exchange rate stability 🗸

  • The economy must be manage effectively and effective Fiscal and monetary policy must be used to keep the exchange rate relatively stable 🗸🗸
  • Depreciation and Appreciation of the currency create uncertainties for producers and traders and should be limited. These uncertainties must be limited 🗸🗸
  • The SARB changed the Exchange rate from a Managed floating to a free floating exchange rate 🗸🗸

Price stability 🗸

  • Stable price causes better results in terms of job creation and economic growth 🗸🗸
  • The SARB inflation target is 3% - 6% and they are successful in keeping inflation within this target 🗸🗸
  • Interest Rates, based on the Repo Rate are the main instruments used in the stabilisation policy 🗸🗸
  • The stable budget deficit also has a stabilizing effect on the inflation rate 🗸🗸

Economic equity 🗸

  • Redistribution of income and wealth is essential 🗸🗸
  • South Africa uses a progressive income tax system – taxation on profits, taxation on wealth, capital gains tax and taxation on spending, are used to finance free services 🗸🗸
  • Free social services are basic education; primary health and to finance basic economic services 🗸🗸
  • E.g. Cash Grant to the poor, e.g. child grants and cash grants to vulnerable people, e.g. disability grants 🗸
  • Progressive taxation means that the higher income earners pay higher/more taxation 🗸🗸 [Max 26]
  • Learner responses can be positive or negative.
  • Follow the argument and see if the learner can produce enough evidence to support his/her answer.

Economic Growth:

  • SA targets 4–5% economic growth. Previously SA had a 5% growth rate 🗸🗸
  • In recent years the growth rate decreased steadily (presently below 3%) 🗸🗸

Full Employment:

  • Compared to foreign countries unemployment is very high. (Expanded – over 30%) 🗸🗸
  • Efforts by SA government to reduce these figures includes the GEAR strategy, focus on small business enterprises, Public Works Programme 🗸🗸

Exchange rate stability:

  • SA now operates on a free floating exchange rate system in line with international benchmarks 🗸🗸
  • Unfortunately our currency has lost its value, with a general trend of depreciation over the last few years 🗸🗸

Price stability:

  • For the past few years South Africa has managed to remain within the 3–6% target 🗸🗸
  • The current increase in the repo rate has put constraints on the inflation rate 🗸🗸

Economic equity:

  • Economic equity has improved (BEE, affirmative action, gender equity) and led to an improvement in economic equity 🗸🗸 [Any 5 x 2] [Max 10]

CONCLUSION: While some successes have been achieved by government, the fulfilling of some of the objectives are compromised by factors like lack of accountability, corruption, budgeting, nepotism and incompetence. 🗸🗸 [Any relevant conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION The government responds to market failures by establishing and maintaining state owned enterprises to provide public goods and services 🗸🗸 [Any other relevant introduction] [Max 2]


  • It is required to give an explanation of one's decisions, actions and expenditures over a period of time 🗸🗸
  • There are mechanisms for evaluating government's economic and financial performance 🗸🗸
  • That the desired quantities and quality of goods and services for which taxes are raised are delivered 🗸🗸
  • That monopolies, corruption, nepotism, incompetence and apathy does not occur 🗸🗸
  • Two important elements of accountability is participation and transparency🗸🗸
  • Ministerial responsibilities, i.e. the ministers of government departments are responsible for decisions and actions and expenditures 🗸🗸
  • Parliamentary questioning arises and members of the government departments have to respond 🗸🗸
  • The national treasury is responsible for treasury control 🗸🗸
  • The auditor-general reports annually in writing on each government department🗸🗸
  • Public goods are efficiently provided if Pareto efficiency is achieved 🗸🗸
  • That is if resources are allocated in such a way that no one can be made better off without making someone else worse off 🗸🗸
  • Bureaucracy the official rules and procedures. 🗸🗸/insensitivity to the needs of their clients 🗸🗸
  • Incompetence- the lack of skill or ability to do a task successfully🗸🗸/May have improper qualifications/or an attitude of apathy 🗸🗸
  • Corruption- the exploitation of a person's position for private gain /taking bribes, committing fraud, nepotism 🗸🗸
  • State-owned enterprises do not operate according to the forces of supply and demand 🗸🗸
  • It becomes thus very difficult for state-owned enterprises to assess needs and they are thus prone to under- or over-supplying public goods and services 🗸🗸
  • The census and other household surveys as well as local government structures provide this type of information 🗸🗸
  • Since resources are scarce, government must then decide which needs and whose needs are to be satisfied 🗸🗸
  • In the private sector houses are built according to the price that people are able and willing to pay 🗸🗸
  • In the public sector housing is regarded as a social responsibility and authorities supply them according to the needs of people 🗸🗸
  • In a market economy prices are determined by supply and demand 🗸🗸
  • The objectives of firms are to maximise their profits and they usually set prices to achieve this objective 🗸🗸
  • Government does not pursue the profit maximisation objective 🗸🗸
  • Government takes into account certain social, economic, political and environmental conditions as well as public opinion 🗸🗸
  • Free-of-charge services- this is met from taxes 🗸🗸 and applies to most community goods and collective goods 🗸🗸 (e.g.) defence, police whereby charges and toll fees are levied 🗸
  • User-charges 🗸 option to charge depends on technical reasons 🗸🗸 (e.g.) cost of providing a double lane road could be recovered by toll charges 🗸 Economic reasons 🗸 such as services like water and electricity 🗸 that have a zero price 🗸 political reasons 🗸 where income distribution is significantly unequal, administrative rationing according to need takes place 🗸🗸 (e.g.) public health and education 🗸
  • Direct and indirect subsidies direct subsidies are used to cover part of the costs 🗸🗸 (e.g.) urban bus service 🗸 and an indirect subsidy is used to write off accumulated losses or deficits 🗸🗸
  • Standing charges -called availability charges 🗸🗸 (e.g.) water and electricity 🗸 standing charges goes to meet fixed costs and the price per unit consumed covers variable costs 🗸🗸
  • Price discrimination - different users have different elastic ties of demand for a good 🗸🗸 (e.g.) commercial and manufacturing businesses pay higher rates than households and they pay on a sliding scale🗸🗸
  • State-owned enterprises that either render a service or when an existing enterprise is nationalised 🗸🗸
  • They focus on making a profit and maximizing cost at the expense of the needs of some groups 🗸🗸 (e.g.) Iscor 🗸 SABC, 🗸SAA, Spoornet 🗸
  • refers to the process whereby state-owned enterprises and state-owned assets are handed over or sold to private individuals 🗸🗸
  • cost of maintaining and managing state-owned enterprises are high which can lead to higher taxes and larger public debt 🗸🗸
  • State-owned enterprises are not run as efficiently as private enterprises 🗸🗸
  • Nationalisation is the process whereby the state takes control and ownership of privately owned assets and private enterprises 🗸🗸
  • It includes contracting of services, public-private partnerships, increasing competitiveness🗸🗸 [Max 26]

ADDITIONAL PART Possible problems in your community or elsewhere

  • Lack of drinking water due to burst pipes 🗸🗸
  • Lack of electricity due to lack of infrastructure (load shedding) 🗸🗸
  • Lack of schooling – no buildings available – lack of maintenance 🗸🗸
  • Lack of health services due to lack of staff, infrastructure, strikes 🗸🗸
  • Lack of adequate housing (RDP) 🗸🗸 [Max 10 marks - List of examples max 5 marks] [Accept any other relevant answer] 

CONCLUSION If the above problems are not dealt with timeously by government, government will continue to fail its people in terms of service delivery, seeing many protests occurring regularly 🗸🗸 [Any other relevant higher order conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION International trade can be defined as the exchange of goods and services between countries globally. 🗸🗸 These trade agreements are negotiated by protocols and agreement due to the uneven distribution of natural resources globally. 🗸🗸

BODY-MAIN PART The main reasons for international trade.

Demand reasons The size of the population impacts demand.

  • If there is an increase in population growth, it causes an increase in demand, as more people’s needs must be satisfied. 🗸🗸
  • Local suppliers may not be able to satisfy this demand. 🗸🗸

The population’s income levels effect demand.

  • Changes in income cause a change in the demand for goods and services. 🗸🗸 • An increase in the per capita income of people in more disposable income that can be spent on local goods and services, some of which may then have to be imported. 🗸🗸

An increase in the wealth of the population leads to greater demand for goods.

  • People have access to loans and can spend more on luxury goods, many of which are produced in other countries. 🗸🗸

Preferences and tastes can play a part in the determining of prices,

  •  E.g. customers in Australia have a preference for a specific product which they do not produce and need to import and it will have a higher value than in other countries. 🗸🗸

The difference in consumption patterns is determined

  • By the level of economic development in the country, e.g. a poorly developed country will have a high demand for basic goods and services but a lower demand for luxury goods. 🗸🗸

Supply reasons Natural resources are not evenly distributed

  • Across all countries of the world. 🗸🗸
  • They vary from country to country and can only be exploited in places where these resources exist. 🗸🗸

Climatic conditions

  • Make it possible for some countries to produce certain goods at a lower price than other countries, e.g. Brazil is the biggest producer of coffee. 🗸🗸

Labour resources

  • Differ in quantity, quality and cost between countries. 🗸🗸
  • Some countries have highly skilled, well-paid workers with high productivity levels, e.g. Switzerland. 🗸🗸

Technological resources

  •  Are available in some countries that enable them to produce certain goods and services at a low unit cost, e.g. Japan. 🗸🗸

Specialisation in the production

  • Certain goods and services allows some countries to produce them at a lower cost than others, e.g. Japan produces electronic goods and sells these at a lower price. 🗸🗸

Capital allows developed countries

  • Enjoy an advantage over underdeveloped countries. 🗸🗸
  • Due to a lack of capital, some countries cannot produce all the goods they require themselves. 🗸🗸


  • Buying and selling goods and services from other countries: 🗸🗸
  • The purchase of goods and services from abroad that leads to an outflow of currency from SA- Imports (M). 🗸🗸
  • The of goods and services to buyers from other countries leading to an inflow of currency to SA – Exports (X) 🗸🗸
  • Different factor endowments mean some countries can produce goods and services more efficiently than others- specialisation is therefore possible: 🗸🗸

Absolute Advantage:

  • Where one country can produce goods with fewer resources than other. 🗸🗸

Comparative Advantage:

  • Where one country can produce goods at a lower opportunity cost it sacrifices less resources in production. 🗸🗸

CONCLUSION International trade is important of countries to survive economically, as barriers to trade would disadvantage all countries, due to their interdependency globally. 🗸🗸 [Any other relevant higher order conclusion] [Max 2]


Discuss in detail export promotion (Protectionism and Free Trade)

INTRODUCTION Export promotion refers to measures taken by governments increase production of goods and services that can be exported. The government provides incentives to encourage production 🗸🗸 [Max 2]


  • Export promotion measures lower cost of production which makes it easier to compete on the international market 🗸🗸
  • Achieve significant export-led economic growth🗸🗸
  • Export enlarges production capacity of country because more and larger manufacturing industries are established. 🗸🗸
  • The first step to export-led economic growth is to implement policies that encourage the establishment of industries to produce goods and services for export markets🗸🗸

METHODS: Exports are promoted through: Incentives🗸

  • Export incentives include information on export markets, research with regard to new markets, concessions on transport charges, export credit and export credit guarantees and publicity commending successful exporters🗸🗸
  • This will encourage manufacturers to export an increased volume of their production🗸🗸
  • Trade missions help to market SA products abroad🗸🗸and supply SA companies with information about potential markets 🗸🗸

Direct Subsidies🗸

  • Described as direct because it involves government expenditure. 🗸🗸
  • Include cash payments to exporters, refunds on import tariffs and employment subsidies.
  • The aim is to increase the competitiveness of exporting company🗸🗸 reduce cost of production🗸🗸and explore and establish overseas markets🗸🗸

Indirect subsidies

  • Regarded as indirect because it results in the government receiving less revenue🗸🗸 e.g. general tax rebates,
  • Tax concessions on profits earned from exports or on capital invested to produce export goods, refunding
  •  Of certain taxes e.g. custom duties on imported goods used in the manufacturing process🗸🗸
  • Allows companies to lower their prices and enables them to compete in international markets🗸🗸
  • Challenge for governments to design incentives and subsidies in such a way that prices of export goods can't be viewed as dumping prices🗸🗸

Trade neutrality 🗸

  • Can be achieved if incentives in favour of export production are introduced
  • Up to point that neutralises the impact of protectionist measures in place🗸🗸
  • E.g. subsidies equal to magnitude of import duties can be paid🗸

Export processing zones (EPZs) 🗸

  • Is free-trade enclave within a protected area –
  • Is fenced and controlled industrial park that falls outside
  • Domestic customs area, and usually located near harbour or airport 🗸🗸 NOTE : For the response with regard to the effectiveness of export promotion methods, a maximum of 5 marks can be allocated.
  • No limitations on size and scale since world market is very large🗸🗸
  • Cost and efficiency of production based on this and organised along lines of comparative advantage🗸🗸
  • Increased domestic production will expand exports to permit more imports and may result in backward linkage effects that stimulate domestic production in related industries🗸🗸
  • Exchange rates are realistic and there is no need for exchange control and quantitative restrictions🗸🗸
  • Value can be added to natural resources of the country 🗸🗸
  • Creates employment opportunities 🗸🗸
  • Increase in exports has positive effect on balance of payments 🗸🗸
  • Increase in production leads to lower domestic prices, which benefit local consumers🗸🗸


  • Real cost of production 🗸 subsidies and incentives reduce total cost of production which must be met from sales🗸🗸 real cost is thus concealed by subsidies🗸🗸products cannot compete in open market 🗸🗸
  • Lack of competition 🗸 businesses charge prices that are so low that they force competitors out of the market 🗸🗸
  • Increased tariffs and quotas 🗸can be against spirit of provisions of WTO🗸🗸overseas competitors retaliate with tariffs and quotas🗸🗸 goods are sold domestically below their real cost of production (export subsidies and dumping) 🗸🗸
  • Protection of labour-intensive industries 🗸 developed countries maintain high levels of effective protection for their industries that produce labour-intensive goods in which developing countries already have or can achieve comparative advantage 🗸🗸
  • Withdrawal of incentives often leads to closure of effected companies. 🗸🗸
  • Incentives often lead to inefficiencies in the production process, since companies don't have to do their best to compete🗸🗸
  • Can be seen as dumping 🗸🗸 [Max 26]

BODY: ADDITIONAL PART How successful is South Africa in protecting the local textile industry against foreign competition?

  • Not successful: 🗸 Many domestic textile manufacturers closed down due to unfair international competition 🗸🗸 Many wholesalers make use of suppliers from abroad 🗸🗸 e.g. Woolworths/Walmart🗸
  • Dumping still occurs – European manufacturers still dump clothing in Africa out of season at prices below cost 🗸🗸 Job losses due to a lack of protection in this industry 🗸🗸 [Accept any motivation relating to success indicators] [Max 10]

CONCLUSION South Africa's international trade policy facilitates globalisation thereby impacting positively on the balance of payment. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION Protectionism refers to a deliberate policy on the part of the government to erect trade barriers, such as tariffs and quotas, in order to protect domestic industries against international competition. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant definition] [Max 2]

BODY-MAIN PART Raising revenue for the government

  • Import tariffs raise revenue for the government. 🗸🗸
  • In smaller countries the tax base is often small due to low incomes of individuals and businesses. 🗸🗸
  • Low incomes do not provide much in the form of income taxes and therefore custom duties on imports is a significant source of income or revenue. 🗸🗸

Protecting the whole industrial base

  • Maintaining domestic employment. 🗸🗸
  • Countries with high unemployment are continuously pressured to stimulate employment creation and therefore resort to protectionism in order to stimulate industrialisation. 🗸🗸
  • It is thought that using protectionism the country’s citizens would purchase more domestic products and raise domestic employment. 🗸🗸
  • These measures on domestic employment creation at the expense of other countries, led to such measures as “beggar-my-neighbour” policies. 🗸🗸
  • Applying import policies is likely to reduce other countries ability to buy country’s exports and may provoke retaliation. 🗸🗸

Protecting workers

  • It is argued that imports from other countries with relatively low wages represent unfair competition and threaten the standard of living of the more highly paid workers of the local industries. 🗸🗸
  • Local industries would therefore be unable to compete because of higher wages pushing up the price levels of goods. 🗸🗸
  • Protection is thus necessary to prevent local wage levels from falling or even to prevent local businesses from closing down due to becoming unprofitable. 🗸🗸
  • Competition from low-wage countries may also reflect the fact that those countries have a comparative advantage in low-skilled labour-intensive industries. 🗸🗸

Diversifying the industrial base

  • Overtime countries need to develop diversified industries to prevent overspecialisation. 🗸🗸
  • A country relying too heavily on the export of one or a few products is very vulnerable. 🗸🗸
  • If a developing country’s employment and income is dependent on only one or two industries, there is the risk that world fluctuations in prices and demand and supply-side problems could results in significant fluctuations in domestic economic activity. 🗸🗸
  • Import restrictions may be imposed on a range of products in order to ensure that a number of domestic industries develop. 🗸🗸

Develop strategic industries

  • Some industries such as the iron-ore and steel, agriculture, (basic foodstuffs, such as maize), energy (fuels) and electronics (communication) among others, are regarded as strategic industries. 🗸🗸
  • Developing countries may feel that they need to develop these industries in order to become self-sufficient . 🗸🗸

Protecting specific industries Dumping

  • Foreign industries may engage in dumping because government subsidies permit them to sell at very low prices or because they are seeking to raise profits through price discrimination. 🗸🗸
  • The reason for selling products at lower prices may be to dispose of accumulate stocks Of the goods and as a result consumers in the importing country stand to benefit however,
  • Their long term objective may be to drive out domestic producers and gain control of the market and consumers
  • Are likely to lose out in the reduction in choice and higher prices that the exporters will be able to charge. 🗸🗸

Infant industries

  • Usually newly established and find it difficult to survive due to their average costs being higher than that of their well-established foreign competitors. 🗸🗸
  • However, if they are given protection in their early years they may be able to grow and Thereby take advantage lower their average costs and become competitive and at this point protection can be removed. 🗸🗸

Declining industries/sunset industries

  • Structural changes in the demand and supply of a good may severely hit an industry such industries should be permitted to go out of business gradually declining industries
  • Are likely to be industries that no longer have a comparative advantage and however, if they go out of business quickly there may be a sudden and large increase in unemployment. 🗸🗸
  • Protection may enable an industry to decline gradually thereby allowing time for resources including labour to move to other industries. 🗸🗸
  • Protecting domestic standards domestic regulations of food safety human rights and environmental standards have been increasingly acting as trade restrictions. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant fact] [Max 26]

ADDITIONAL PART South Africa promotes exports through subsidies

Direct Subsidies

  • Strict screening measures should be put in place when companies apply for financial assistance. Government expenditure can provide direct financial support to domestic producers for their exports e.g. 🗸🗸
  • Cash grants offered to South African exhibitors to exhibit their products at exhibitions overseas. To explore new markets. 🗸🗸
  • Foreign trade missions to explore new markets imposition of tariffs on imports. 🗸🗸
  • Funds for the formation of formal export councils. 🗸🗸
  • Subsidies for training or employing personnel. 🗸🗸
  • Funds for the export market research. 🗸🗸
  • Product registration and foreign patent registrations. 🗸🗸
  • Government can refund companies certain taxes to promote exports.
  • These types of indirect subsidies are:
  • General tax rebates (Part of the cost of production can be subtracted from the tax that has been paid) 🗸🗸
  • Tax concessions on profits earned from exports or on capital invested to produce export goods. 🗸🗸
  • Refunds on import tariffs in the manufacturing process of exported goods companies often use custom duties are paid on these goods and the government refunds them. 🗸🗸 [Max 10]

CONCLUSION Most countries agree that protectionism is harmful to the economy if not well managed. Protectionism is needed especially where industries are young and need expansion or development. 🗸🗸 [Any other relevant higher order conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION Economic growth is responsible for the overall growth of the economy, in order to enhance the well being of the economy as a whole. Whereas economic development would focus on the individual well being of the citizens of a country. [Any other relevant higher order conclusion] [Max 2]

BODY-MAIN PART Growth and Development A demand-side approach includes discretionary changes in monetary and fiscal policies with the aim of changing the level of aggregate demand. 🗸🗸

Monetary policy

  • Is driven by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB). 🗸🗸
  • It aims to stabilise prices by managing inflation. 🗸🗸

Fiscal policy

  • Is driven by the Department of Finance. 🗸🗸
  • It aims to facilitate government, political and economic objectives. 🗸🗸
  • A demand-side approach to economic growth and development does not only depend on fiscal and monetary policy. 🗸🗸
  • It is dependent on all components of aggregate demand, that is, C, I, X and G. 🗸🗸

South African approach

  • The South African approach uses both monetary and fiscal measures to influence aggregate demand in the economy. 🗸🗸
  • The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) as the central bank in South Africa formulates the monetary policy. 🗸🗸
  • They use the following instruments:

Interest rate changes

  • It is used to influence credit creation by making credit more expensive or cheaper. 🗸🗸
  • The exchange rate is stabilised by encouraging inflow or outflows. 🗸🗸

Open market transactions

  • To restrict credit the SARB sells securities. When banks buy these securities money flows from banks to the SARB. 🗸🗸
  • The banks have less money to lend and cannot extend as much credit as before. 🗸🗸
  • To encourage credit creation the SARB buys securities. Money flows into the banking system.🗸🗸

Moral suasion

  • The SARB consults with banks to act in a responsible manner based on the prevailing economic conditions. 🗸🗸

Cash Reserve Requirements

  • Banks are required to hold a certain minimum cash reserve in the central bank. 🗸🗸
  • Banks have a limited amount to give out as credit. 🗸🗸
  • South Africa’s fiscal policy is put into practice through the budgetary process. 🗸🗸
  • The main purpose of fiscal policy is to stimulate macroeconomic growth and employment, and ensure redistribution of wealth. 🗸🗸
  • The following instruments are used:

Progressive personal income tax

  • Higher income earners are taxed at higher tax rates. 🗸🗸
  • These taxes are used to finance social development. 🗸🗸
  • The poor benefit more than those with higher incomes. 🗸🗸

Wealth taxes

  • Properties are levied (taxed) according to their market values. 🗸🗸
  • Transfer duties are paid when properties are bought. 🗸🗸
  • Securities (shares and bonds) are taxed when traded. 🗸🗸
  • Capital gains tax is levied on gains on the sale of capital goods (e.g. properties, shares). 🗸🗸
  • Estate duties are paid on the estates of the deceased. 🗸🗸
  • These taxes are used to finance development expenditures which benefit the poor more  often. 🗸🗸

Cash benefits

  • Old age pensions, disability grants, child support and unemployment insurance are cash grants. These are also known as social security payments. 🗸🗸
  • Benefits in kind (natura benefits) 🗸🗸
  • These include the provision of healthcare, education, school meals, protection etc. 🗸🗸
  • When user fees are charged, poor or low income earners pay less or nothing. 🗸🗸
  • Limited quantities of free electricity and water are provided. 🗸🗸

Other redistribution

  • Public works programmes, e.g. the Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP) provides employment subsidies and other cash and financial benefits such as training, financing and export incentives.🗸🗸

Land restitution and land redistribution

  • Land restitution is the return of land to those that have lost it due to discriminatory laws in the  past. 🗸🗸
  • Land redistribution focuses on land for residential (town) and production (farm) for previously disadvantaged groups. 🗸🗸
  • The money for these programmes is provided in the main budget. 🗸🗸

Subsidies on properties

  • It helps people to acquire ownership of fixed residential properties. 🗸🗸
  • E.g. government’s housing subsidy scheme provides funding to all people earning less than  R3 500 per month🗸🗸

CONCLUSION The demand-side approach focuses on the expansion of the demand for goods and services produced in the economy. 🗸🗸 OR To ensure economic growth, there should be an adequate and growing demand for goods and services produced in the economy. 🗸🗸

[Any other relevant higher order conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION Different growth and development strategies have been implemented in South Africa since 1994, each aimed at addressing particular needs at the time of introduction. 🗸🗸 [Any other relevant introduction] [Max 2]

BODY-MAIN PART The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP)

  • The RDP was an integrated, coherent socio-economic policy framework that was implemented directly after our first democratic elections in 1994. 🗸🗸
  • It seeked to mobilise all our people and our country’s resources toward the final eradication of apartheid and the building of a democratic, non-racial and non-sexist future. 🗸🗸

The RDP was based on six principles.

  • an integrated and sustainable programme. 🗸🗸
  • a people-driven process focusing on the needs of the population. 🗸🗸
  • peace and security for all, aimed at a non-violent society that respects all human rights. 🗸🗸
  • nation-building, focusing on the needs of all members of society. 🗸🗸
  • linking reconstruction and development. 🗸🗸
  • The RDP consisted of many proposals, strategies and policy programmes.
  • All of these could, however be grouped into five major policy programmes that were linked to each other.

The five key programmes were:

  • meeting basic needs. 🗸🗸
  • developing our human resources. 🗸🗸
  • building the economy. 🗸🗸
  • democratising the state and society. 🗸🗸
  • implementing the RDP. 🗸🗸

The Growth, Employment and Redistribution Programme (GEAR)

  • The GEAR built upon the strategic vision set out in the RDP, i.e. 🗸🗸
  • The importance of all the objectives of the RDP was reaffirmed but it recognized the implementation and macroeconomic problems that the government had been experiencing in implementing the RDP. 🗸🗸
  • The RDP placed much more emphasis on disciplined economic policy. 🗸🗸
  • While still recognizing that there were very serious needs that had to be addressed. 🗸🗸

The Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa Programme (AsgiSA).

  • AsgiSA resulted from government’s commitment to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014. 🗸🗸
  • The Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (Jipsa) was established to address the scarce and critical skills needed to meet AsgiSA’s objectives. 🗸🗸

AsgiSA identified six important factors that prevented growth:

  • the relative volatility of the currency. 🗸🗸
  • the cost, efficiency and capacity of the national logistics system. 🗸🗸
  • shortages of suitably skilled labour, and the spatial distortions of apartheid affecting low-skilled labour costs. 🗸🗸
  • barriers to entry, limits to competition and limited new investment opportunities. 🗸🗸
  • the regulatory environment and the burden on small and medium enterprises (SME’s). 🗸🗸
  • AsgiSA was not intended to be a government programme. 🗸🗸
  • But rather a national initiative supported by all the key groups in the economy. 🗸🗸
  • Namely business, labour, entrepreneurs and government and semi-government departments and institutions. 🗸🗸

Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisitions (JIPSA)

  • It is the skills development arm of ASGISA. Focus is on skills development, especially through the SETAS. 🗸🗸

Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)

  • It is a nationwide government intervention to create employment using labour-intensive methods, and to give people skills they can use to find jobs when their work in the EPWP is done. 🗸🗸

The New Growth Path (NGP)

  • The New Growth Path (NGP) was released in November 2011. 🗸🗸
  • This plan is designed to serve as a framework for economic policy, and to be the driver of the country’s job strategy. 🗸🗸

The New Growth Path therefore proposes certain strategies to ensure adequate demand:

  • Deepening the domestic and regional market by growing employment. 🗸🗸
  • Increasing incomes and undertaking other measures to equity and income distribution. 🗸🗸
  • Widening the market for South African goods and services through a stronger focus on exports to the region and other rapidly growing economies. 🗸🗸
  • On a macroeconomic level the NGP entails accommodating or looser monetary policy combined with stricter fiscal policy to limit inflationary pressures and enhance competitiveness. 🗸🗸
  • Government spending will be prioritised with the objective of long-term sustainable employment opportunities. 🗸🗸

The microeconomic measures to control inflationary pressures include the following:

  • A competition policy to supervise monopoly pricing on products and services. 🗸🗸
  • A review of administered prices to ensure that they do not increase above inflation without compelling reasons. 🗸🗸
  • Interventions in the case of rapidly rising prices of essential products and services such as private🗸🗸
  • Healthcare and basic food items. 🗸🗸
  • Active industrial policy. 🗸🗸
  • Rural development policy. 🗸🗸
  • Competition policy. 🗸🗸
  • Stepping up education and skills development. 🗸🗸
  • Enterprise development: promoting small business and entrepreneurship; eliminating unnecessary red tape. 🗸🗸
  • Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE). 🗸🗸
  • Labour practices. 🗸🗸
  • Technology policy. 🗸🗸
  • Developmental trade policies. 🗸🗸
  • Policies for African development. 🗸🗸 
  • The different growth and development strategies that have been implemented in South Africa since 1994. 🗸🗸
  • Have all contributed to making our country more prosperous and to address problems created by inequalities of the past. 🗸🗸
  • However, problems such as a low level of education, unemployment and unequal distribution of income persist. 🗸🗸
  • The current NGP is a comprehensive policy that is focused on addressing all of these problems. [Any other relevant higher order conclusion] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION South Africa’s overall objective of Industrial Development Policy is to ensure international competitiveness in its nine provinces. OR Regional development is aimed at increasing the economic livelihood of specific areas or regions. OR Regional development attempts to limit the negative effects of economic activities in only a few areas. OR It attempts to promote the advantages of a more even regional development by using labour and other natural resources and infrastructure in neglected areas. [Accept any relevant introduction] [Max 2]


  • SDI Programme attracts infrastructure and business investments to underdeveloped areas to create employment. 🗸🗸
  • Department of Trade and Industry is driving force behind industrial and spatial development. 🗸🗸
  • DTI plans together with central, provincial and local government, IDC, parastatals and research institutions. 🗸🗸
  • Industrial Development Policy Programme (Spatial Development) has 2 focus points spatial development initiative (SDI) and financial incentives. 🗸🗸
  • SDI refers to government’s initiative and economic development potential of certain specific spatial locations in SA. 🗸🗸

Key Objectives:

  • Stimulate economic activity in selected strategic locations. 🗸🗸
  • Generate economic growth and foster sustainable industrial development. 🗸🗸
  • Develop projects of infrastructure in certain areas and finance them through lending and private sector investment. 🗸🗸
  • Establish private-public partnerships (PPP’s). 🗸🗸

In areas with high poverty and unemployment, SDI focuses on:

  • High level support in areas where socio-economic conditions require concentrated government assistance. 🗸🗸
  • Where inherent economic potential exists. 🗸🗸
  • The approach is towards international competitiveness, regional cooperation and a more diversified ownership base. 🗸🗸

Some of the main focus points of the SDI Programme are:

  • Lubombo Corridor (agro-tourism, education, craft, commercial and agricultural sectors); 🗸🗸
  • KwaZulu-Natal (Ports of Durban and Richards Bay); 🗸🗸
  • West Coast SDI (fishing and industrial ports); 🗸🗸
  • Coast-2-Coast Corridor with agro-tourism. 🗸🗸
  • It also makes it possible for private sector businesses to take advantage of the economic potential of underdeveloped areas in private-public partnerships (PPP’s) 🗸🗸
  • In PPP a private business may provide the capital to build the factory and to buy raw materials and employ labour, while the government provides the capital for the infrastructure such as roads and water and electricity. 🗸🗸
  • The business benefits from profits and the government benefits from taxes, levies and employment opportunities. 🗸🗸

There are TWO types of PPP’s which are compensated differently: Unitary payments:

  • Private sector builds and runs a project (it performs the function on behalf of the public sector); the payment provides an acceptable return on the total investment (building cost, maintenance, operational expenses). 🗸🗸
  • Private sector constructs the project and then is given the right to change a toll fee (e.g. public road); 🗸🗸
  • The toll covers costs of construction, maintenance, operation. 🗸🗸
  • The above options can be combined: E.g. hospital (cost of building is an annual payment and a user fee is also charged). 🗸🗸
  • A track of land that forms a passageway allowing access from one area to another and particular advantages to mining, manufacturing and other businesses. 🗸🗸
  • Domestic Corridor: e.g. Lubombo, West Coast, Fish River. 🗸🗸
  • Corridors beyond the South African Borders (SADC) e.g. Maputo Development Corridor Mozambique. 🗸🗸
  • Reasons in support of South Africa’s regional integration in Southern Africa: have political and stable neighbours have important export markets and a future source of water and energy supplies integration may be a precondition for support from foreign investors, donors and multilateral institutions. 🗸🗸
  • A robust regional transport system and a solid infrastructure base hold the key to attracting investment into the SADC region – improving competitiveness and promoting trade. 🗸🗸

Advantages from Corridor development:

  • Greater levels of economic efficiency and productivity compact urban form corridor urban form. 🗸🗸
  • Corridor developments will often occur due to private investment. 🗸🗸
  • Intergration of land use and transport planning will lead to generally efficient integration. 🗸🗸
  • Efficient urbanisation leads to efficient use of land and promotion of an efficient transport system. 🗸🗸


  • Geographically designed, purpose-built industrial sites providing services tailored for export- orientated industries. 🗸🗸
  • Physically enclosed and linked to an international port or airport. 🗸🗸
  • Specifically designed to attract new investment in export-driven industries. 🗸🗸
  • Falls outside domestic customs zones and able to import items free of customs and trade restrictions, add value and then export their goods. 🗸🗸
  • Development and management done by private sector. 🗸🗸
  • Government IDZ policy designed to boost exports and jobs. 🗸🗸
  • IDZ’s aim to encourage economic growth –attract foreign investment in industrial development – facilitate international competitiveness regarding manufacturing. 🗸🗸 [Max 26]

ADDITIONAL PART FINANCIAL INCENTIVES Small and Medium Enterprise Development Programme (SMEDP) • This incentive has provided a tax-free cash grant for investment in industries in

  • South Africa. 🗸🗸
  • E.g. manufacturing, agricultural, processing, aquaculture and tourism. 🗸🗸

Critical Infrastructure Fund Programme (CIF)

  • A tax-free cash grant incentive for projects has improved critical infrastructure in  South Africa. 🗸🗸
  • E.g. for installation, construction of infrastructure, payment of employees, materials directly consumed during installation. 🗸🗸

Duty Free Incentives (for businesses operating in the IDZ’s)

  • This has encouraged export-orientated manufacturing to increase their competitiveness 🗸🗸
  • And helped to promote foreign and local direct investment. 🗸🗸

Foreign Investment Grant (FIG)

  • This has assisted foreign investors to invest in new manufacturing businesses in SA. 🗸🗸
  • Benefited in terms of the cost of relocating new machinery and equipment from abroad. 🗸🗸

Strategic Investment Projects (SIP)

  • This has attracted investment from local and foreign entrepreneurs in manufacturing, computer, research and engineering sectors. 🗸🗸

Skills Support Programme (SIP)

  • This cash grant for skills development has encouraged greater investment 🗸🗸
  • In training in general and stimulated the development of new advanced skills. 🗸🗸

Black Businesses Supplier Development Programme (BBSDP)

  • This 80 % cash grant has provided black-owned enterprises with access to 🗸🗸
  • Training which has improved management of their enterprises. 🗸🗸

Special Economic Zones (SEZ)

  • It is an extention to the current financial incetives to further promoted regional development. 🗸🗸
  • The major incentive is a tax reduction of 15 % for businesses settling in this area. 🗸🗸
  • This does not mean that existing businesses in the IDZ can relocate to take advantage of this incentive. 🗸🗸
  • If a current business in the IDZ wants to expand they are allowed. 🗸🗸 [Max 10]

CONCLUSION From the above discussion it is clear that different initiatives form part of South Africa’s Regional Industrial Development Programme. [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION Economic indicators are used to evaluate the economic performance of an economic unit. This unit can be a company, an industry, a country or a region. Macro-economic indicators, measures the economic performance of a country as a whole. 🗸🗸

BODY-MAIN PART Such indicators can provide an indication of:

  • Changes taking place in a country. 🗸🗸
  • How a country compares to other countries. 🗸🗸

Inflation Rate

  • This is the general increase in the price level of goods and services in the economy over a certain period in time. E.g. one year. 🗸🗸
  • This is therefore an indicator of the health of the economy and it is monitored in two ways that is at the production wholesale level producer price level (PPI) and at the retail or consumer level consumer price index (CPI) 🗸🗸

The Consumer Price Index (CPI)

  • Shows the price increases of a representative (weighted) basket of goods and services that consumers buy. 🗸🗸
  • It is abbreviated as CPI this cover all the urban areas. 🗸🗸
  • It is an overall index and weights are obtained from expenditures of different income categories of households. 🗸🗸
  • It is the most comprehensive indicator measuring consumer inflation in the country. 🗸🗸
  • It shows changes in the general purchasing power of the rand and it is used for inflation targeting 🗸🗸
  • Is compiled by Stats SA and measures the change in the price level of a basket of consumer goods and services. 🗸🗸
  • The goods and services included in the basket are chosen to represent the goods and services purchased by an average household. 🗸🗸
  • This basket is adjusted from time to time as consumption patterns change. 🗸🗸
  • The inflation rate is the percentage change in the CPI from the previous year and can be calculated as follows:
  • Change in CPI x 100 🗸🗸        CPI

The Production Price Index (PPI)

  • Used to measure the price of goods that are produced domestically when they leave the factory year. 🗸🗸
  • The goods that are imported when they enter the country (at a port) and both of these are before consumers become involved. 🗸🗸
  • PPI consists of three baskets that are domestically manufactured outputs, e.g. changes in the PPI can be made monthly or quarterly or yearly. 🗸🗸
  • While changes in the imported products and exported commodities are given separately in the same report. 🗸🗸
  • PPI includes capital and intermediate goods but not services. 🗸🗸
  • It is based on a completely different type of a basket of items in the CPI. 🗸🗸
  • It measures the cost of production rather than the cost of living. 🗸🗸
  • It is used to predict consumer goods inflation (CPI) 🗸🗸
  • Which is also estimated and published on a monthly basis by Stats SA, is similar to the CPI, 🗸🗸
  • Except that it also includes the prices of raw materials and intermediary goods 🗸🗸 (i.e. goods that will be finished in the production process), excludes VAT and excludes  services. 🗸🗸
  • Manufactured goods included in the PPI are priced when they leave the factory, not when they are sold to consumers. 🗸🗸
  • Unlike the CPI, the PPI therefore cannot be related directly to consumers’ living standards. 🗸🗸
  • The PPI is nevertheless very useful in the analysis of inflation because it measures the cost of production. 🗸🗸
  • A significant change in the rate of increase in the PPI is usually an indication that the rate of increase in the CPI will also change a few months later. 🗸🗸

The GDP Deflator Is a ratio that indicates the relationship of the GDP at nominal prices to the GDP at real prices. GDP deflator = Normal GDP x 100 🗸🗸                            Real GDP 

Nominal GDP

  • Is the value of total gross domestic product measured at current prices. 🗸🗸
  • While the real GDP is the value of total gross domestic product measured at constant prices.🗸🗸
  • So, the GDP deflator includes changes in the prices of exports but not of imports. 🗸🗸
  • In a small open economy, like that of South Africa where both, imports and exports are significant in relation to the total size of the economy. 🗸🗸
  • The exclusion of import prices is an important shortcoming. 🗸🗸

Unemployment rate

  • In terms of economic development, employment is a very important indicator. 🗸🗸
  • Employment is, however, not very easy to measure as so many people are employed in the informal sector which is not recorded. 🗸🗸
  • The concept of underemployment is also important. 🗸🗸
  • This is when someone is employed in a position that requires less skill than their ability. 🗸🗸
  • For example when a qualified accountant works as a delivery person because he or she cannot find employment as an accountant. 🗸🗸
  • Someone may also be employed on a part-time basis but would prefer to work full time. 🗸🗸
  • A labour force survey is published quarterly by Stats SA. 🗸🗸
  • This publication contains information and statistics concerning a variety of issues related to the labour market, including the official unemployment rate. 🗸🗸
  • It is a comprehensive survey and provides information on changes in employment in different provinces and industries. 🗸🗸
  • Employment in the informal sector, and even reasons for changes in employment figures. 🗸🗸
  • The unemployment rate is a percentage of the total labour force. 🗸🗸
  • The total labour force includes all employed people and unemployed people who are looking for work. 🗸🗸
  • The unemployment rate is a lagging indicator, which means that it will only change a few periods after the trend in the economy has changed. 🗸🗸
  • For example if the economy starts growing at a faster pace. 🗸🗸
  • The unemployment rate will only react to the growth after two or three quarters. 🗸🗸

Interest rates

  • Interest rates are important indicators of future economic activity, as the interest rate level is usually an important determinant when economic decisions are being taken. 🗸🗸
  • Both the general interest rate level and the structure of interest rates are important indicators.🗸🗸
  • There are many interest rates in the economy. 🗸🗸
  • Some are short term rates, such as the repo rate, which is the interest rates at which South Africa banks borrow from the Reserve Bank to finance their liquidity deficit. 🗸🗸
  • The difference between the short term interest rates and long term interest rates: 🗸🗸
  • Is called the interest rate spread and the term structure of interest rates provides an indication of the interest rates levels on loans or investments of different maturities. 🗸🗸
  • Usually we can expect the interest rates level in a developing country to be higher than the interest rate in a developed economy. 🗸🗸
  • This is due to the higher risk attached to the developing economy. 🗸🗸
  • Factors such as political and economic uncertainty cause this higher risk. 🗸🗸
  • Developing economies also need to attract foreign investment to their country  to finance growth. 🗸🗸
  • Investors’ funds will move towards the highest yield and thereof. 🗸🗸
  • Developing countries cannot allow interest rates in their countries to become too low. 🗸🗸

Money Supply

  • The increase in the M3 money supply is an important economic indicator. 🗸🗸
  • If M, the money supply increases, this means that either (P) prices or Y (output) has to respond to the increase in M. 🗸🗸
  • Therefore, an increase in the money supply is an important indicator showing that output will increase. 🗸🗸
  • Whether this will translate to an increase in real production or the price level will depend on factors like production within the economy. 🗸🗸
  • In addition to economic growth the employment of people of working age (15 -64 years) is a majot economic objective. 🗸🗸
  • We need to know more than this; we need to know who the people are that need to be employed. 🗸🗸
  • The numbers are determined, not only by age, but also by people’s willingness to work. 🗸🗸

The Economically Active Population (EAP)

  • The EAP is also known as the labour force. 🗸🗸
  • It consists of people between the age of 15 and 64 who are willing to work for income in cash or in kind and includes: 🗸🗸
  • Workers in the formal sector- workers in the informal sector. 🗸🗸
  • Employers any one 🗸🗸
  • Self employed persons. 🗸🗸

Related Items

  • BBR or BSR - Economics Grade 12 Study Guides and Notes

Unemployed Persons

  • The 2021 estimate of the South African population was million people. 🗸🗸
  • The EAP numbered million ( % of the population). 🗸🗸

The Employment Rate

  • The number of employed persons expressed as a percentage of the EAP gives the employment rate. 🗸🗸
  • The employment rate can also be converted into an index. 🗸🗸
  • The SA employment rate was % in 2011. 🗸🗸
  • This is low, compared to rates in developed and even some developing countries such as Argentina and Pakistan. 🗸🗸
  •  In SA the growth in the economy is not accompanied by the similar growth in employment numbers. 🗸🗸

Employment indicators are used for:

  • To calculate trends in employment in different sectors or industries. 🗸🗸
  • This indicates structural changes in the economy. 🗸🗸
  • To calculate productivity. 🗸🗸
  • To show the success of the economy in utilizing its full potential. 🗸🗸

Unemployment Rate

  • Statistics SA (SSA) obtains its labour data each year from Quarterly Labour Surveys  (QLFS). 🗸🗸
  • It uses the standard definition of the International Labour Office (ILO) to calculate unemployment. 🗸🗸
  • The strict definition of unemployment is used to calculate the unemployment rate. 🗸🗸
  • Did not work during the seven days prior to the interview. 🗸🗸
  • Want to work and are available to start work within a week of the week of the interview. 🗸🗸
  • Have taken active steps to look for work or to start some form of self-employment in four week prior to the interview. 🗸🗸
  • In SA the official unemployment rate was % in 2021. 🗸🗸
  • In developed countries, change in the unemployment rate trigger responses. 🗸🗸
  • From governments to fine-tune the economy. 🗸🗸
  • Increases require more funds for unemployment insurance (UIF) drawings. 🗸🗸
  • In developing countries, unemployment is the most important cause of poverty. 🗸🗸 [Accept current statistical data] [Max 16]
  • To give a policy direction in the country. 🗸🗸
  • To develop mechanism to caution the most affected sectors of the economy promptly
  • e.g.during the 2019-2020 recession/pandemic some companies required a bail out from the government. 🗸🗸
  • Develop some economic stabilisers to defuse the huge impact that may result from the unexpected economic downturn. 🗸🗸
  • Open some other alternative markets for their goods and services. 🗸🗸
  • To do research and advice the business community before the actual moment hits. 🗸🗸
  • It can be used to stimulate thinking and growth in a number of sectors in the Economy. 🗸🗸 [Accept any relevant consideration] [Max 10]

CONCLUSION Countries cannot survive and grow their economies if they do not pay attention to economic indicators for their planning processes. [Accept any relevant consideration] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION Social indicators also called human development indicators as they promote improvement in the standard of living. 🗸🗸 [Any other relevant definition] [Max 2]

BODY-MAIN PART Demographics

  • This is the description of the physical population and its composition.
  • To get this a census is done regularly to obtain this information. 🗸🗸

Human development Index (HDI)

  •  This is a measure of people’s ability to live long and healthy lives, to communicate, 🗸🗸
  •  To participate in the community and to have sufficient income to experience a decent lifestyle. 🗸🗸

Human poverty index (HPI)

  •  It measures life expectancy is measured by the percentage of newborns not expected to survive to age 40. 🗸🗸
  •  Lack of education is measured by the percentage of adults who are ill- educated. 🗸🗸

Health and nutrition

  • Life expectancy birth. 🗸🗸
  • Infant mortality rate. 🗸🗸

Nutrition indicators

  • Daily calorie intake per person. 🗸🗸
  • The number of children who go hungry. 🗸🗸
  • These measures are important to government as they are supplying healthcare and sometime have to include legislation such as adding vitamin A to basic foodstuffs such as bread. 🗸🗸
  • The standard of living of people is directly connected to their education. 🗸🗸
  • Educated people are employable and can earn an income and provide for their own wants and needs. 🗸🗸

Two important measures are:

  • Secondary enrolment percemtage-how many children that start Grade 1 get to Grade 8 and finish Grade 12. 🗸🗸
  • Adult literacy- People over the age of 15 that can read and write. 🗸🗸
  • A large percentage of the annual budget is allocated to education. 🗸🗸
  • Because of our constitution certain basic services must be supplied by the government. 🗸🗸
  • These services have a direct effect on people’s living standards. 🗸🗸
  • Electricity 🗸🗸
  • Refuse disposal🗸🗸
  • Water supply🗸🗸
  • Sanitation🗸🗸

Housing and urbanisation

  • Urbanisation the process by which an increasing proportion of a country’s population is concentrated in its urban areas as a result of natural increase and migration from rural areas. 🗸🗸
  • This measures is important as more people come to live in urban areas the greater the demand for housing, services, education, health care etc. 🗸🗸
  • Housing the percentage of the population living in a permanent dwelling or house. 🗸🗸
  • The government issue housing subsidies to help poor people to own a house South African citizens or permanent residents earning R3 500 or less a month could apply for this subsidy. 🗸🗸

International comparisons

  • Figures collected by the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and United Nations provide the best data for comparison purpose. 🗸🗸

Other measures used:

  • Purchasing power parity (PPP) The number of units of one country’s currency that give the holder the same purchasing power as one unit of another country’s currency. 🗸🗸
  • The Big Mac Index, The index is based on the price of the Big Mac around the world as compared to its price in the United States. 🗸🗸 [Max 40]

CONCLUSION From the above discussion it is clear that social indicators play a significant role in South Africa. It is, therefore, of the utmost importance that we should study their uses in depth. [Max 2]


INTRODUCTION A perfect market is a market structure which has a large number of buyers and sellers.  OR The market price is determined by the industry (demand and supply curves).  OR This means that individual businesses are price takers, i.e. they are not able to influence prices. OR Perfect competition is an imaginary situation, whereas monopolistic competition is a reality. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant introduction] [Max 2] 


  • The indicating of the equilibrium positions on the perfect market structure is of utmost importance because from this point where MC = MR
  • The dotted lines will be drawn to show economic profit or economics loss. 
  • Where the dotted lines intersect the AC and AR curves either normal profit or economic profit or economic loss will be indicated and shadowed.

Mark allocation for graph:

  • Position / shape of MC curve = 1 mark
  • MR curve = 1 mark
  • Position / shape of AC curve = 2 marks
  • Equilibrium point = 1 mark
  • Indication of price / quantity = 1 mark
  • Shading of economic loss = 2 marks MAX MARKS = (8)

Allocate marks on the graph according to the rubric provided and if facts are duplicated again in writing, do not allocate marks. Max of 8 marks.

  • Equilibrium is at E 1 i.e. where MC = MR 
  • At this point Q 1 goods are produced at a price of P 1  
  • The averages cost for Q 1 units is point R on the AC curve 
  • Price / AR is greater than AC ( TR > TC)
  • Therefore economic profit is represented by the area P 1 SRE 1  
  • Equilibrium is at E 1 i.e. where MC = MR
  • At equilibrium (point E 1 ) average cost is equal to price 
  • The AC curve is tangent to the demand curve which means that P/AR = AC (TR = TC) 
  • The business makes normal profit which is the minimum earnings required to prevent the entrepreneur from leaving the industry. 
  • Equilibrium is at E1, i.e. where MC = MR 
  • At this point Q1 goods are produced at a price of P1 
  • At equilibrium (point E1) price/AR is less than average cost/the AC curve is lies above the demand curve which means that P/AR < AC (TR < TC) 
  • The business makes an economic loss A maximum of 24 marks will be allocated for graph illustration and analysis: 8 marks max per graph illustration - (Max 26 marks)

ADDITIONAL PART CONDITIONS For a market to successfully operate under perfect competition, the following conditions should prevail at the same time:

  • No firm can influence the market price (price takers) due to a large number of buyers and sellers 
  • Products are identical (homogeneous) 
  • There are no barriers of entry, meaning that there is freedom of entry and exit 
  • Buyers and sellers act independently - no collusion between sellers 
  • No government interference to influence the market – the market is unregulated 
  • Free movement between markets - all factors of production are completely mobile 
  • Both buyers and sellers have full knowledge of all the prevailing market conditions (perfect information) 
  • If any of the above conditions are not met, the market is regarded as an imperfect market Any 5 x 2 = [Max 10 marks]

CONCLUSION Freedom of entry and exit into the perfect market alter the supply of goods on the market. This will result in changes in price which influences the profit or loss of a business.  If price falls to a level where it is equal to the AVC then the firm will shut-down.  [Max 2] Discuss the monopoly in detail (with/without the aid of graphs) (Imperfect Market)

INTRODUCTION A firm is regarded as a monopolist when it owns or controls the total supply of a scarce factor of production. Monopoly is a market structure where only one seller operates. 🗸🗸

BODY: MAIN PART The characteristics of a monopoly

Number of firms

  • The monopoly consists out of one single firm. 🗸🗸
  • The monopoly is also the industry. 🗸🗸
  • Example: Eskom or De Beers – diamond-selling 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant example]

Nature of product

  • The product is unique with no close substitute. 🗸🗸
  • Example: Diamonds are unique. 🗸🗸

Market entry

  • Refers to how easy or difficult it is for businesses to enter or to leave the market 🗸🗸
  • Is entirely/completely blocked. 🗸🗸
  • Economies of scale 🗸🗸
  • Limited size of the market 🗸🗸
  • Exclusive ownership of raw materials 🗸🗸
  • Licensing 🗸🗸
  • Sole rights 🗸🗸
  • Import restrictions 🗸🗸

They decide on their production level

  • The monopolist cannot set the level of output and the price independently of each other. 🗸🗸
  • If a monopolist wants to charge a higher price, it has to sell fewer units of goods. 🗸🗸 Alternatively, a reduction in price will result in a higher output sold. 🗸🗸
  • A monopolist is confronted with a normal market demand curve 🗸🗸
  • The demand curve slopes downwards from left to right 🗸🗸
  • Any point on the monopolist’s demand curve (D) is an indication of the quantity of the product that can be sold and the price at which it will trade. 🗸🗸

They are exposed to market forces

  • Consumers have limited budgets and a monopoly can therefore not demand excessive prices for its product. 🗸🗸
  • The monopolist’s product has to compete for the consumer’s favour and money with all other products available in the economy. 🗸🗸

They face substitutes

  • There are few products that have no close substitutes. 🗸🗸
  • For example, cell phones can compete with telephone services. 🗸🗸

They may enjoy favourable circumstances

  • Sometimes an entrepreneur may enjoy favourable circumstances in a certain geographical area. 🗸🗸
  • For example, there may be only one supplier of milk in a particular town. 🗸🗸

They may exploit consumers

  • Because a monopolist is the only supplier of a product, there is always the possibility of consumer exploitation. 🗸🗸
  • However, most governments continually take steps to guard against such practices. 🗸🗸

Market Information

  • All information on market conditions is available to both buyers and sellers. 🗸🗸
  • This means that there are no uncertainties. 🗸🗸

Control over price

  • In the case of a monopoly there are considerable price control, but limited by market demand and the goal of profit maximisation. 🗸🗸

Long-run economic profit Can be positive

  • Because new entries are blocked and short-run economic profit therefore cannot be reduced by new competing firms entering the industry 🗸🗸
  • The monopoly can thus continue to earn economic profit as long as the demand for its product remains intact 🗸🗸

Heading = 1 mark AC = 1 mark DD/AR = 1 mark MC = 1 mark Profit maximisation point =1 mark Labelling of the axis = 1 mark Labelling on the axis = 1 mark

Long run equilibrium of a perfect competitor

CONCLUSION A monopoly does not always make economic profit in the short run; it can also make economic loss in the short run if the total cost exceeds total revenue. 🗸🗸


  • The oligopoly is a type of imperfect market in which only a few large producers dominate the market. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant and correct response]

MAIN PART Nature of product

  • The product may be homogeneous in a pure oligopoly. 🗸🗸
  • If the product is differentiated, it is known as a differentiated oligopoly. 🗸🗸

Market information

  • There is incomplete information on the product and the prices. 🗸🗸
  •  Market entry is not easy, it is limited in the sense that huge capital outlay might be necessary. 🗸🗸
  • Oligopolists have considerable control over price, it can influence price, but not as much as the monopolist. 🗸🗸
  • Oligopolies can frequently change their prices in order to increase their market share and this result in price wars. 🗸🗸

Mutual dependence

  • The decision of one firm will influence and be influenced by the decisions of the other competitors. 🗸🗸
  • Mutual dependence (interdependence) exists amongst these businesses.
  • A change in the price or change in the market share by one firm is reflected in the sales of the others. 🗸🗸

Non-price competition

  • Non - price competition can be through advertising, packaging, after-sales services. 🗸🗸
  • Since price competition can result in destructive price wars, oligopolies prefer to compete on a different basis. 🗸🗸
  • Participants observe one another carefully- when one oligopolist launches an advertising campaign, its competitors soon follow suite. 🗸🗸
  • If oligopolies operate as a cartel, firms have an absolute cost advantage over the rest of the other competitors in the industry. 🗸🗸
  • Collusion is a strategy used by firms to eliminate competition amongst each other. 🗸🗸
  • It can be in a form of overt collusion where firms can work together to form a cartel and tacit collusion where a dominating business controls the price. 🗸🗸

Limited competition

  • There are only a few suppliers manufacturing the same product. 🗸🗸

Economic profit

  • Oligopolies can make an economic profit over the long term. 🗸🗸
  • Abnormal profits may result to joint decision-making in an oligopoly. 🗸🗸

Demand curve

  • Slope from left down to the right. 🗸🗸
  • It is known as the kinked demand since it contains the upper relatively elastic slope and the lower relatively inelastic slope. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant and correct response] [Max. 26]

ADDITIONAL PART Oligopolist may increase their market share using non-price competition strategies by:

  • branding their product to create an impression that its product is for a particular age group or income group. 🗸🗸
  • aggressive advertising which inform customers about the business or product it provides.🗸🗸
  • Using appealing packaging to bring out important features of their product.
  • improving their customer service in order to ensure that they return to their businesses.🗸🗸
  • providing relevant and precise information, which is crucial to the customers, since there are competitors in the market, customers will patronize the businesses that provides relevant information. 🗸🗸
  • extending shopping hours to the convenience of customers.
  • Offering loyalty rewards to customers which will encourage their return to spend accumulated rewards. 🗸🗸  [Accept any other relevant response] [Max.10]
  • In South Africa, oligopolists have been found to be illegally manipulating prices to their benefit, yet to the detriment of consumers and have been penalized for such action. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant response]

Compare and contrast any TWO types of market structures (perfect to imperfect/imperfect to imperfect) in detail in terms of the following. - Number of businesses - Nature of product - Entrance - Control over prices - Information - Examples - Demand curve - Economic profit/loss - Decision-making - Collusion - Productive/Technical efficiency - Allocative efficiency (Perfect Market and Imperfect Market)

‘’Market structures are classified under Perfect Competition, Monopolistic Competition, Oligopoly and Monopoly’’ Compare all FOUR market structures in a tabular form. NB: Learners should write in full sentences even if the comparison is done in a tabular format). (Marks depend on the combination of market structures to be examined)


INTRODUCTION Market failure is when the forces of supply and demand fail to allocate resources efficiently / when markets fail to allocate goods and services efficiently. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other correct introduction] [Max 2]

BODY: MAIN PART                           

1. Missing Markets

  • Markets are often incomplete in the sense that they cannot meet the demand for certain goods. 🗸🗸
  • Public goods:
  • They are not provided by the price mechanism because producers cannot withhold the goods from non-payment and there is often no way of measuring how much a person consumes. 🗸🗸

Public goods have the following features: Non-rivalry:

  • The consumption by one person does not reduce the consumption of another person e.g. a lighthouse. 🗸🗸


  • Consumption cannot be confined to those who have paid, so there are free riders e.g. radio and TV in South Africa. 🗸🗸

Merit goods

  • These are goods/services that are deemed necessary or beneficial to the society, e.g. education, health care etc. 🗸🗸
  • These goods are highly desirable for general welfare but not highly rated by the market, therefore provide inadequate output/supply. 🗸🗸
  • If people had to pay market prices for them relatively too little would be consumed – the market will fail. 🗸🗸
  • The reason for undersupply of merit goods is that the market only takes the private costs and benefits into account and not the social costs and benefits. 🗸🗸

Demerit goods

  • These are goods/services that are regarded as bad or harmful for consumption hence we should use less of these e.g. alcohol, cigarettes, etc. 🗸🗸
  • Demerit goods lead to a lot of social costs, therefore, the government charges sin tax / excise duties to discourage the consumption of such goods. 🗸🗸
  • While the market is willing to supply demerit goods, it tends to oversupply demerit goods. 🗸🗸
  • Some consumers may be unaware of the true cost of consuming them. 🗸🗸

2 Lack of information

  • Technical and allocative efficiency require that both producers and consumers have complete and accurate information about the costs and benefits of the goods and services produced and consumed in the market. Producers and consumers make production and consumption decisions based on the information they have. 🗸🗸
  • When information is incomplete or inaccurate, it leads to wrong decisions about what to produce, how to produce and for whom to produce, and a waste of resources occurs. 🗸🗸
  • Producers might not know all the different technologies and production techniques that are available and the different resources that can best be used to produce goods/services more efficiently. 🗸🗸
  • Consumers might not know that the price of a product is lower from some other suppliers or about the harmful effects of a product since they might just base their decisions to consume on the information from a misleading suppliers. 🗸🗸

3. Immobility of factors of production

  • Markets do not respond to changes in consumer demand if resources cannot be easily reallocated or due to a lack of information🗸🗸
  • Labour takes time to move to into new occupations and geographically to meet the changes in consumer demand. 🗸🗸
  • Physical capital e.g. equipment, buildings, land and raw materials can only move from one place to another at a high cost, but cannot be moved to fit a change in demand. 🗸🗸
  • Technological applications change production methods e.g. use of robots rather than physical labour. It takes time for most industries to adapt. 🗸🗸
  • With greater technological change there is an increasing need for workers to become flexible, to update skills, change employment, occupations and work patterns. 🗸🗸 [Max 26]
  • Motivate why government has implemented a national minimum wage in the labour market. 🗸🗸
  • Pressure was put on the South African government to introduce labour laws which require employers to pay minimum wages. 🗸🗸
  • The application of minimum wage laws is needed to improve a redistribution of income. 🗸🗸

The main objectives were:

  • To redress inequality (Gap between wealthy and poor) 🗸🗸
  • To improve the standard of living. 🗸🗸
  •  Government tried to protect domestic workers and farm workers — thus preventing exploitation. 🗸🗸  [Max 10] [Accept any other correct relevant response]

CONCLUSION Governments intervene in the market when market forces cannot achieve the desired output. [Max 2] [Accept any other relevant conclusion]

INTRODUCTION The purpose of government intervention is to ensure that the right quantity of resources is allocated to the production of output so that society as a whole [Accept any other relevant introduction] [Max 2] maximizes its benefits. 🗸🗸

  • Sometimes government will set the price of a good or service at a maximum level that is  below the market price 🗸🗸
  • The government intervene and passes a law that suppliers may not charge more than the maximum price 🗸🗸
  • The immediate effect is that quantity supply will drop 🗸🗸
  • The original market equilibrium price and quantity is P and Q respectively 🗸🗸
  • The price set by the government is P1, at this price the demand will increase to Q1 and the supply will decrease to Q2 🗸🗸
  • The difference between Q1 and Q2 is the shortfall that will be created on the market 🗸🗸
  • The shortage caused by the price ceiling creates a problem of how to allocate the good since the demand has increased 🗸🗸
  • Black markets start to develop [Mark allocation: Graph 6 and discussion max. 10 marks]
  • The appropriate way to intervene in the market by government is by levying taxes as a method to recover external cost 🗸🗸
  • The original market equilibrium at e, with P as the equilibrium price and Q as the equilibrium quantity 🗸🗸
  • The tax increase will shift the supply curve to the left 🗸🗸
  • New equilibrium at E1 🗸🗸
  • A tax would raise the price from P to P1 🗸🗸
  • The production will decrease from Q to Q1 🗸🗸 [Mark allocation: Graph total 6 marks and discussion max 10 marks]
  • Explain the supply of undesirable goods in South Africa and how the government can deal with it. 🗸🗸
  • Items such as cigarettes, alcohol and non-prescription drugs are examples of demerit or undesirable goods. 🗸🗸
  • These goods are often over supplied in the market, due to the fact that the external cost is not added to the market price. 🗸🗸
  • Some consumers may be unaware of the true cost of consuming them, their negative externalities. 🗸🗸
  • Government can ban their consumption or reduce it by means of taxation. 🗸🗸
  • Taxation on these products will increase the market price and hopefully the demand for these products will drop. 🗸🗸 [10 marks] [Accept any other correct relevant response]

CONCLUSION The intervention of government ensures that inefficiencies is eliminated and that the market is operating effectively 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant conclusion] [Max 2]


  • This is a constant and significant increase in the general price level of goods and services in the country over a certain period of time, e.g. a year. 🗸🗸 [Max 2] [Accept any relevant introduction]

BODY-MAIN PART Creditors and Debtors

  • Whereas borrowers (debtors) benefit from price increases, lenders (creditors) suffer due to price increases. 🗸🗸
  • This is because borrowers receive money with a relatively high purchasing power and they repay their loans with money with low purchasing power, unless interest rates are sufficient to prevent this occurrence. 🗸🗸

Salary and Wage Earners

  • Price increases affect people whose incomes are relatively fixed (in other words, people whose incomes remains constant or do not increase at the same rate as prices do. 🗸🗸
  • This group includes retired people, pensioners and the poor. 🗸🗸
  • As prices increase, their almost fixed incomes purchase less and less. 🗸🗸
  • However there are individuals and entrepreneurs whose incomes often increase at a rate that is higher than the inflation rate and they do not suffer but gain from inflation. 🗸🗸
  • Globalization results in increased employment opportunities in the economy due to increased productivity, the need to produce more goods both for local and international markets rises in globalised economies. 🗸🗸
  • The demand for increased skilled labour becomes a need as a result, this demand for labour benefits the local labour market in increased employment opportunities and growth. 🗸🗸

Investors and Savers

  • Different types of investments are affected by inflation: Assets with fixed nominal values. 🗸🗸
  • These assets have a fixed nominal value and give a return if they are held until maturity. 🗸🗸
  • When they are paid, because their nominal values remain constant, the purchasing power of the nominal values decreases as prices increase (that is, their real value decreases). 🗸🗸

Assets with Flexible Market Values

  • The holders of shares and fixed property usually gain by price increases because the nominal values of these assets tend to increase at least proportionately to the rate of inflation (that is, their market values are flexible). 🗸🗸
  • Often the prices of these assets increase more rapidly than increases in the general price level.🗸🗸
  • In this case, inflation creates wealth to the advantage of those holding such assets. 🗸🗸
  • South Africa has a progressive personal income tax system. 🗸🗸
  • This means that marginal and average tax rates increase in harmony with the income level. 🗸🗸
  • The higher level an individual’s income, the greater the percentage of income he or she has to pay tax. 🗸🗸
  • With inflation, taxpayers’ nominal income (wages and salaries) rise even when their real income remain unchanged. 🗸🗸

Taxes are levied on nominal income and not on real income.

  • Therefore if the income tax schedule remains unchanged inflation increases the average rate of personal income tax. 🗸🗸
  • Individuals will have to pay higher taxes even if they are actually no better off than before. 🗸🗸
  • This phenomenon known as bracket creep, lads to a redistribution of income from taxpayers to the government. 🗸🗸
  • Bracket deep results from a combination of inflation and progressive income tax. 🗸🗸
  • It has the same effect as an increase in the tax rate. 🗸🗸

Industrial Peace

  • Wage bargaining is often accompanied by strikes and mass action. 🗸🗸
  • These actions can sometimes spill over into violence, which affects society at large. 🗸🗸
  • In extreme situations in the presence of exceptionally high inflation together with a government that is determined not to yield to wage increase demands (which can push inflation to even higher levels), widespread civil unrest follows. 🗸🗸

Inflation has a negative effect on economic growth

  • Inflation leads to increased uncertainty in the economy. 🗸🗸
  • This uncertainty discourages savings and investments especially in the long term. 🗸🗸
  • Which are necessary for economic growth –result reduced economic growth. 🗸🗸

Inflation affects the real money value and savings

  • Because inflation reduces the real value of money, it affects the real value of money saved in particular. 🗸🗸
  • This means that inflation, the rand buys fewer goods and services than before. 🗸🗸
  • It also means that the real money value saved is worth less at the end of the savings period than when the money was saved. 🗸🗸
  • e.g. if a consumer receives 5 % interest on his/her savings account while the inflation rate is 8%, then the real rate of interest on the consumer’s savings is -3%.🗸🗸

Inflation has an adverse effect on a country’s balance of payments (BOP).

  • If a country’s rate of inflation is higher than that of its trading partners the prices of exported goods increase while the prices of imported goods decrease. 🗸🗸
  • This leads to loss of competitiveness in the export market, which in turn leads to decreased exports. 🗸🗸

This has a negative effect on the country’s balance of payments (BOP).

  • The loss of export competiveness can also increase unemployment inflation affects the redistribution of income in a country. 🗸🗸

The effects of inflation are uneven.

  • While it does not clearly benefit anyone and certainly harms most, it also harms some less than others. 🗸🗸
  • Inflation also tends to redistribute income from low-income groups to higher income groups. 🗸🗸
  • This is because people in the low income groups do not have assets than can rise in value faster than the rate of inflation to help them overcome the effects of inflation. 🗸🗸
  • Powerful groups such as trade unions large companies and the wealthy people, are able to increase their share of national income at the expense of disadvantaged people such as pensioners the unemployed and the welfare recipients. 🗸🗸

Inflation has social and political costs

  • When inflation continually causes rising prices it makes people unhappy and can disturb relations between employers and the employees and between customers and traders or service providers. 🗸🗸
  • People in lower-income brackets feel severe effects of increases in the price of essential items such as bread, maize meal rental and transport costs. 🗸🗸
  • This can lead to social unrest and political unrest. 🗸🗸

Inflation feeds on itself and causes further inflation

  • This is called the inflation spiral. 🗸🗸 e.g. higher wage demands cause producers to increase their prices to maintain their profits.
  • This happens again and again pushing prices further every time. 🗸🗸
  • If the government does not keep this wage price spiral in check, inflation may get out of control and become hyperinflation. 🗸🗸 [Max 26]

ADDITIONAL PART Debate the merits (benefits) of administered prices by the government

  • These are prices regulated by the government e.g. home owner’s costs on water/household fuel (paraffin and electricity) medical care (public hospitals) communication (telephone calls, telephone rentals and installations/postage cell communications /transport (petrol). 🗸🗸
  • Most of the administered prices are adjusted once a year which brings price stability. 🗸🗸
  • Regulated prices are restricted as to the extent to which prices may vary, depending on the government’s objectives. 🗸🗸
  • Administered prices provide additional revenue to national treasury. 🗸🗸
  • It appears that some of these prices remain extremely robust over the short term. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant response] [Max 10]
  • If inflation is not controlled by the proper and effective instruments, it can have challenging problems to the economy in general. 🗸🗸

INTRODUCTION COST PUSH Inflation is a sustained and significant increase in general price level over a period of time and a simultaneous decrease in the purchasing power of money. Accept any other relevant introduction. 🗸🗸 [Max 2] 

BODY: MAIN PART Causes of cost-push inflation

Increase in Wages:

  • In South Africa, increase in wages constitute more than 50% of Gross Value Added at basic prices 🗸🗸
  • If the increase in wages is not accompanied by an increase in production, the cost of production will rise 🗸🗸
  • Producers will increase the prices of their products to offset the high cost of production strikes and stay-aways / labour union activities 🗸🗸

Key inputs/ increase in prices of imported capital goods

  • When the prices of key inputs that are imported increase, domestic cost of production 🗸🗸
  • increases especially in the manufacturing sector 🗸🗸
  • Supply shocks e.g. sudden increase of oil causes a knock-off effect 🗸🗸

Exchange rate depreciation

  • A decrease in the value of the rand will result in an increase in prices of imports 🗸🗸

Profit margins

  • When firms increase profit margins, the prices that consumers pay also increase 🗸🗸
  • Sometimes firms use their market power to push up prices 🗸🗸


  • Less productive factors of production will lead to increased cost per unit 🗸🗸
  • Strikes and stay-aways often reduce production output and can result in price increases 🗸🗸

Natural disasters

  • Natural disasters such as drought, flood and global warming can impact on the cost of production 🗸🗸
  • This is often the case in relation to food prices 🗸🗸
  • An increase in interest rates results businesses paying more money for capital loaned firms recover these costs by increasing the prices of their products 🗸🗸

Increase in taxation

  • Increase in direct tax like company income tax may lead to businesses increasing their prices to offset the extra burden 🗸🗸
  • Increase in indirect tax such as custom duty will lead to increase in costs of supplying a particular product, therefore the price will increase 🗸🗸
  • Administered prices increase e.g. fuel prices
  • Shoplifting and losses caused by employees are added to the prices of products 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant fact. Maximum 8 marks for headings] [Max. 26]

DEMAND PULL INFLATION Total spending on domestic goods and services in the economy consists of the spending by households, firms, the government and the foreign sector.

  • Total spending = C + I + G + (X-M). 🗸🗸

Causes of demand inflation Increase in consumption [C] – consumers expenditure will increase mainly for three reasons:

  • a. If consumers save less & spend more🗸🗸
  • b. Decrease in personal income tax. 🗸🗸
  • c. A greater availability of consumer credit, because of decrease in interest rate. 🗸🗸

Investment [I] –When business invest this increase demand for labour, cement, sand and bricks. 🗸🗸

  • Supply cannot keep up with the increase in demand and this will increase prices. 🗸🗸
  • Lower interest rates may result in an improvement in the sentiment and profit expectations of businesses. 🗸🗸
  • Businesses invest more and this may lead to an increase in the demand of goods and services that are part of the investment (for example, a new building requires cement bricks and labour).🗸🗸
  • If aggregate demand increases at a faster rate than aggregate supply, price increases will follow.🗸🗸

Government Spending [G] – Three main reasons.

  • a. New capital projects🗸🗸
  • b. Consumption expenditure on education, health, and protection. 🗸🗸
  • c. Social expenditure on public work programme to create jobs and increase in social allowances. 🗸🗸

Export earnings [X]

  • a. When economy of trading country improve. 🗸🗸
  • b. When global economy expands. 🗸🗸

Access to credit

  • There is greater availability of consumer credit (by means of credit cards) of the availability of cheaper credit as a result of decreases in lending rates. As new credit is extended the credit multiplier kicks in and more credit is created. 🗸🗸

Consumption spending

  • Most governments will at times increase expenditures on education, health, protection and safety (for example, military equipment such as bomber jets and submarines). 🗸🗸

Social spending

  • Governments sometimes feel they have to do something substantive about unemployment and poverty. 🗸🗸
  • They borrow money and spend it on public works programmes or raise the level of social grants year after year at a higher rate than the inflation rate. 🗸🗸
  • Such expenditures invariably lead to inflation because they add to aggregate demand without adding anything to aggregate supply. 🗸🗸

Commodities demand

  • The world’s demand for commodities expands and contracts like business cycles do. During an expansionary period, foreign demand increases and this leads to greater volumes of exports. The income earned from these exports adds to aggregate demand and prices increase. 🗸🗸


  • Inflation targeting is when a particular percentage is set as an acceptable level for an increase in general price levels 🗸🗸
  • The SARB's inflation target is a range of 3% and 6% 🗸🗸
  • The aim of inflation targeting policy is to achieve and maintain price stability 🗸🗸
  • The implementation of the inflation target is easy to understand – expressed in numbers which makes it very clear and transparent 🗸🗸
  • It reduces uncertainty and promotes sound planning in the public and private sectors 🗸🗸
  • It provides an explicit yardstick that serves to discipline monetary policy and improves the accountability of the central banks 🗸🗸
  • The SARB make use of monetary policy, specifically the repo rate to keep the inflation within the target range 🗸🗸
  • The government make use of fiscal policy regarding public sector revenue and expenditure 🗸🗸

Positive effects

  • Where demand is higher than supply an increase in interest rates help to bring the demand down 🗸🗸
  • The policy can helps businesses to make economic plans without worrying about the effects of high inflation 🗸🗸
  • South Africa's price level has been fairly stable since the introduction of the inflation targeting policy in 2000 🗸🗸

Negative effects

  • Inflation targeting can cause a reduction in economic growth 🗸🗸
  • This is because the raising of interest rates, result in a decrease in total spending which is needed for production to increase 🗸🗸
  • Decreased economic growth can increase unemployment 🗸🗸
  • South Africa has been experiencing an increase in unemployment since the implementation of the policy in 2000 🗸🗸
  • Inflation targeting is difficult to implement when the cause of inflation is supply shocks 🗸🗸 [Max. 10]
  • A summary of what has been discussed without repeating facts already mentioned in the body. 🗸🗸
  • An opinion or valued judgement on the facts discussed. 🗸🗸
  • Additional support information to strengthen the discussion. 🗸🗸
  • A contradictory viewpoint with motivation. 🗸🗸
  • Recommendations. 🗸🗸
  • E.g. Inflation can be a threat to the normal functioning of the economy; therefore, measures like monetary and fiscal are vital to keep the phenomenon under control. 🗸🗸 
  • This is the activities of people travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for a period not longer than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes and not related to a remunerative activity from within the place visited 🗸🗸 [Max 2]

BODY - MAIN PART Gross domestic product (GDP)

  • Tourism impacts mostly on the services industry than on agriculture or manufacturing although there are upstream effects when agriculture provides foodstuffs to restaurants and manufacturing provides vehicles for transport 🗸🗸

Direct contribution on GDP

  • Statistics South Africa (SSA) shows that in 2020 inbound tourists contributed R69 billion and domestic tourists R billion, amounting to R billion - about % of South Africa's GDP 🗸🗸

Indirect contribution on GDP

  • If the indirect contribution is added, tourism add about % to GDP 🗸🗸
  • The WTTC estimated that tourism contributed % to the GDP of the world economy in 2020🗸🗸
  • In developing economies the service sector is responsible for around % of GDP, while it is responsible for more than % of GDP in developed economies 🗸🗸
  • South Africa is similar to that of developed economies and services contributed more than % of GDP in 2020. 🗸🗸
  • Tourism has a major effect on employment and this amounted to million workers in 2020🗸🗸
  • Tourism is the world’s largest generator of jobs 🗸🗸
  • Tourism is labour intensive 🗸🗸
  • More jobs can be created with every unit of capital invested in tourism than elsewhere
  • Tourism employs many skills 🗸🗸
  • It ranges from accountants and hairdressers to tour guides and trackers, 🗸🗸
  • the tourism industry draws upon numerous skills 🗸🗸
  • Tourism can provide immediate employment 🗸🗸
  • If one quarter of tourists’ accommodation establishment in South Africa starts to offer live entertainment to quests, thousands of entertainers could be employed within days 🗸🗸
  • Tourism provides entrepreneurship opportunities 🗸🗸
  • The tourism industry accommodates informal sector enterprises, from craft and fruit vendors to pavement vendors, chair rentals 🗸🗸
  • Tourism is widely recognized as one of the fastest and more effective redistribution mechanisms in development 🗸🗸
  • It brings development to the poor in rural areas 🗸🗸
  • Tourism provides an alternative to urbanisation, permitting women and youth to continue a rural family lifestyle while giving them business opportunities 🗸🗸
  • E.g. to start and operate small-scale tourism businesses around community asserts (forests, parks and rivers) 🗸🗸


  • The rapidly expanding tourism industry could have both positive and negative impacts that extend well into the future 🗸🗸
  • While tourism attracts large amount of revenue, it can also cause undue environmental damage that can harm the very foundation on which it depends 🗸🗸
  • All other economic resources, tourism uses resources and produces wastes and also creates environmental costs (pollution) and benefits in the process 🗸🗸
  • Rapid growth in tourism aiming at short-term benefits usually results in more negative effects and these includes the degeneration of traditions and cultural values and environmental damage to sites and setting 🗸🗸

Environment Tourism activities create environmental stress:

  • Permanent environmental restructuring which includes major infrastructure 🗸🗸
  • Waste product generation such as biological and non-biological waste that damages fish production 🗸🗸
  • Direct environmental stress caused by tourist activities, e.g. the destruction of vegetation and dunes 🗸🗸
  • Effects on population dynamics such as migration and increased urban densities 🗸🗸
  • Transport infrastructure, e.g. roads, airports 🗸🗸
  • Communication and infrastructure including telephone lines, electronic signal stations and radio, TVs’ 🗸🗸
  • Energy infrastructure such electricity and liquid fuel 🗸🗸
  • Basic service infrastructure such as clean water and sewerage systems 🗸🗸 [Max. 26]

ADDITIONAL PART How can Indigenous Knowledge Systems be used to promote tourism in South Africa?

  • More cultural villages can be improved to facilitate and promote tourism e.g. Shangana in Mpumalanga, Basotho in the Free State and Simunye Zulu Lodge in Kwazulu-Natal. 🗸🗸
  • Where guides explain and demonstrate storytelling and indigenous knowledge practices. 🗸🗸
  • Advertising campaigns domestically and internationally by travel agencies, hotels and B & B, lodges and SA Tourism can focus on promoting these heritage sites in brochures and fliers, social media. 🗸🗸
  • These actions will make tourists more aware of these attractions 🗸🗸
  • Encourage tourists to experience different cultures and townships - experience life at home with a household and eat at a shebeen or township restaurant 🗸🗸
  • World Heritage Sites of South Africa can be promoted for their cultural significance e.g. the Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Mapungubwe Cultural Landscape, Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape, Vredefort Dome and Robben Island 🗸🗸
  • Environmental World Heritage Sites of South Africa selected for their natural importance namely the Cape Floral Region Protected Areas, Isimangaliso Wetlands Park as well as uKhahlamba/Drakensberg Park which has been selected for its mixed significance 🗸🗸
  • Arts and culture festivals e.g. the National Arts Festival, the Hermanus Festival, Awesome Africa Music Festival and Macufe African Cultural Festival should more widely be advertised to encourage tourists to attend 🗸🗸
  • According to the World Health Organisation, a large majority of the African population make use of traditional medicines for health, social-cultural and economic reasons and forms part of the unique experience tourists experience when visiting local villages 🗸🗸
  • In South Africa tourists are made more aware of the important role traditional medicine plays in poverty reduction and employment creation 🗸🗸
  • Relaxation of restrictive tourist visa laws to facilitate easier entry into South Africa 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant answers] [Max. 10]
  • South Africa attracted over million tourists in 2020 /For every 8.1 additional tourist to South Africa, one new job is created/one per cent increase in tourism adds R million annually to the SA economy. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant higher order conclusion] [Max. 2]
  • Tourism is the activities of people travelling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for no more than one consecutive year for leisure, business or other purposes PP 🗸🗸  [Accept any other correct relevant response] [Max 2]

MAIN PART Business sector

  • Tourism stimulates business in areas such as accommodation and entertainment 🗸🗸
  • The construction industry, in private-public partnership with the government to provide the infrastructure, manufacturing sector and recreation sector all benefits from increased demand due to tourism 🗸🗸
  • The previously disadvantaged communities get entrepreneurial opportunities through the black economic empowerment schemes 🗸🗸
  • A large number of people get business opportunities in the informal sector e.g. selling of artefacts 🗸🗸
  • Local retailers may have an increase in sales (and profits) because of increased demand from tourists 🗸🗸
  • Private businesses and government work in partnership to provide the infrastructure needed for tourism 🗸🗸
  • This increases the market share of and income of the these businesses 🗸🗸
  • Allow existing businesses to improve the quality and variety of their products PP 🗸🗸
  • Allow natural monopolies e.g. Table Mountain Cableway to achieve abnormal profits PP 🗸🗸
  • The public sector also provides a range of financial incentives for private sector tourism investment (grants, subsidies, loans, tax rebates) PP 🗸🗸 [Max 10]

Infrastructure development

  • Adequate and well-maintained infrastructure is essential for tourist destinations PP. 🗸🗸
  • Locals share this infrastructure with tourists 🗸🗸
  • Government often prioritises economic infrastructure such as ports and beaches 🗸🗸
  • In addition to physical and basic infrastructure, social infrastructure is also important for the growth of tourism🗸🗸
  • Most of the SDIs and development corridors also have tourism as an important focus PP 🗸🗸 [Max 8]
  • Members of households earn income from the tourism sector as tour operators, travel agents etc. 🗸🗸
  • Many households are indirectly involved in tourism as employees e.g. in hotels, transport sector. 🗸🗸
  • Entrepreneurs from households that operate as curio producers or musicians can earn income from tourism . 🗸🗸
  • A large number of households acquire skills in the tourism industry. 🗸🗸
  • School curriculum and learnership offer opportunities to acquire these skills . 🗸🗸
  • Encourages rural development because many tourist attractions are located in rural areas PP 🗸🗸 [Accept any other correct relevant response] [Max. 26]

ADDITIONAL PART Tourism can be successfully marketed in less popular destinations by:

  • advertising the firms' attractions in a variety of media including social media and internet which may reach both local and international potential tourists. 🗸🗸
  • focusing on a clear message that concentrates on the strength of the attraction/ uniqueness of the destination. 🗸🗸
  • using the indigenous knowledge systems of that particular area where possible PP. 🗸🗸
  • describing the service offered in the best possible way to catch the interest of the likely tourist PP E.g. the use of slogans. 🗸🗸
  • charging a price that is competitive and money well spent for the service offered. 🗸🗸
  • helping the tourist to view the entire service as value for money – deliver a worldclass visitor experience 🗸🗸
  • highlighting other places of interest in the vicinity of the attraction as part of a package 🗸🗸
  • focusing on proudly South African products/services / Sho’t Left campaign PP 🗸🗸
  • help disadvantaged South Africans to benefit from tourist attractions in the less popular destinations PP 🗸🗸 [Accept any other correct relevant response] [Max. 10]

CONCLUSION A weaker exchange rate has been a major contributing factor to South Africa's tourism industry growth over many years. 🗸🗸 [Accept any correct relevant response] [Max 2]

INTRODUCTION Environmental sustainability can be defined as development that meets the need of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. 🗸🗸

BODY: MAIN PART Public sector intervention Because it is difficult to enforce measures to ensure sustainability the government has to intervene. 🗸🗸

Environmental taxes Environmental taxes (green taxes) can be added to the cost of goods and services for the negative impact they have on the environment. 🗸🗸 The government uses the income generated through these taxes to protect the environment. 🗸🗸 Taxes can be imposed on petrol, paper, emission gases etc. 🗸🗸 In 2003 the government has legislated the use of biodegradable plastic bags which consumers had to pay for🗸🗸 The hope is that they will use fewer bags and ensure a litter free environment. 🗸🗸

Charging for dumping of waste A monthly fee as part of municipal accounts is charged for collection of waste, sewage and garbage. 🗸🗸 Households already pay for the collection of rubbish. 🗸🗸 The factory owner might clean up his waste if it cost him to dump it. 🗸🗸 Industries might also pay for emitting gases that can be harmful to people and the environment. 🗸🗸 Subsidies Subsidies can be awarded to businesses that are willing to reduce pollution and waste. 🗸🗸 Waste can also be reduced by using new techniques or equipment such as solar energy. 🗸🗸 Emission gases from factories can be reduced using new technology. 🗸🗸

Granting property rights Normally owners of properties tend to be more protective over their resources than users who are only interested in the profits the resources offer. 🗸🗸 For this reason the government might grant property rights over a specific area. 🗸🗸 Property rights empowers owners to negotiate contracts with businesses who wish to exploit the area’s resources. 🗸🗸

Marketable permits A government can decide on the maximum desired level of pollution in an area. 🗸🗸 It then distribute pollution rights (marketable permits) to factories within that area. 🗸🗸 This means that each factory can pollute to a certain limit. 🗸🗸 It means that marketable permits are licenses that polluters can buy or sell to meet the control levels set by government. 🗸🗸

Education Incorporating topics into the curriculum of school fosters awareness. 🗸🗸 The public is gradually been made aware of this rising problem. 🗸🗸 Plastic, bottles and cartons can be recycled or made biodegradable. 🗸🗸

Public sector control If the government’s intervention does not attain the desired results, then it has to intervene more directly by setting and enforcing limits. 🗸🗸

Environmental Impact Assessment In SA every projected construction, mining or similar development has to undergo an assessment by qualified environmental professionals. 🗸🗸 To prove that it will not cause unwarranted environmental damage and that the damage can be repaired after construction. 🗸🗸 The cost if built into the project. 🗸🗸

Command and Control Regulations that are set and enforce environmental limits or standards. 🗸🗸 Quantity: e.g. set the limit to the amount of fish to catch, or limit the season catching certain species of fish. 🗸🗸 Quality: e.g. drinking water quality is carefully monitored and controlled. 🗸🗸 Air quality in workplace is subject to minimum standards. 🗸🗸 Social effect: e.g. noxious fumes from factories, dumping of medical waste near settlements, and noise pollution. 🗸🗸

Voluntary agreements Agreements between government and businesses voluntarily to address negative environmental impacts of industries. 🗸🗸 Businesses voluntary agree to decrease the emissions of pollutants. 🗸🗸 Most prefer negotiations so that they can tailor their specific needs and include it into their planning🗸🗸 Agreements can be formal, which is legally binding contract or informal. 🗸🗸 [Max 26]

ADDITIONAL PART Government does not exercise effective control over the continuous dumping of waste because of a lack of coordination between departments. 🗸🗸 The fines imposed on industries that dump waste are too lenient and they continue polluting the environment. 🗸🗸

The minimum standards set for hazardous gas and fuel emissions are not enforced or adjusted. 🗸🗸 The recycling of waste materials are not widely encouraged and promoted and landfill sites are overflowing. 🗸🗸 Government has various laws that is not really effectively implemented. 🗸🗸 Poor service delivery also adds to the problem in certain areas. 🗸🗸 [Accept any other relevant answer] [Max 10]

CONCLUSION Each and every individual, business and government needs to stand together to save our planet. [Accept any other relevant conclusion] [Max 2] Discuss in detail the following problems and the international measures taken to ensure sustainable development (Environmental Sustainability)

INTRODUCTION Environment refers to the physical surroundings and physical conditions that affect people’s lives. 🗸🗸 The ever-increasing pressure on our environment originates from increasing population numbers and excessive consumption🗸🗸 Our air, land, and water are under constant assault from the ever-growing ravages of man-made pollution generated chiefly by industrialized societies. 🗸🗸 [Accept any appropriate introduction] [Max 2]

BODY-MAIN PART Conservation

  • Conservation is necessary because human actions cause pollution and over-utilisation of  resources. 🗸🗸
  • Conservation is a strategy aimed at achieving the sustainable use and management of natural resources. 🗸🗸
  • Conservation seeks a creative continuity of the environment while ensuring that change is sympathetic to the quality of life for both present and future generations. 🗸🗸
  • Certain aspects of conservation need to be taken into account.
  • Firstly, there is an opportunity cost. 🗸🗸
  • Secondly, externalities are often present. 🗸🗸
  • Lastly, self-interest has a short term horizon – meaning that decisions cannot be left entirely to market forces. 🗸🗸
  • Over utilization of resources causes a reduction in supply, increase in prices, contradiction of demand and a search for substitutes. 🗸🗸
  • This necessitates conservation of both renewable and non-renewable resources. 🗸🗸
  • Conservation has to be concerned with limiting what is harvested in order to maintain a stable stock at least at the minimum level. 🗸🗸
  • Government can use permits and quotas as two possible direct control methods in order to maintain the stock of resources at the minimum level. 🗸🗸


  • Preservation involves any strategy undertaken to safeguard the environment, maintain its current condition and keep it as habitable as possible for people and animals. 🗸🗸
  • Heritage sites, indigenous forests, specifies of animals etc. that have special cultural or environmental significance, are often targeted preservation. 🗸🗸
  • Preservation is not likely to work as a private enterprise because the benefit to society is much bigger than the income of the producer. 🗸🗸
  • It may be possible to use cost-benefit analysis to calculate the social benefits of preservation of the environment.
  • The weaknesses in market solutions require the government to intervene in order to preserve environment assets. 🗸🗸
  • Government could do any of the following:
  • Buy or expropriate – Environmental assets are simply closed for human use. 🗸🗸
  • Subsidise-A subsidy would increase net benefits to the owner and raise the property’s present value. 🗸🗸
  • Controls – The government can compel the owner to apply control measures like restricting the quantities exploited or number of visitors allowed per day. 🗸🗸 [26 Max]

ADDITIONAL PART Stockholm Conference (1972)

  • The Stockholm Conference was the first major large scale international meeting on the environment convened with the support of the United Nations. 🗸🗸
  • The meeting agreed upon a declaration containing 26 principles concerning the environment and development, an action plan with 109 recommendations and a resolution. 🗸🗸
  • The meeting directly impacted on the environmental policies of many countries. 🗸🗸

Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit (1992)

  • This meeting acknowledged the importance of cooperation in addressing environmental concerns that threaten sustainability. 🗸🗸
  • The conference helped to make countries around the world aware of the dangers of unsustainable development. 🗸🗸
  • Unfortunately the principles outlined and accepted at the summit were not binding and subsequently many countries did not confirm to them. 🗸🗸

Rio + 5 (1997)

  • This conference noted that globalization made some countries poorer – 🗸🗸
  • In particular African countries and the least developed countries showed a low level of growth or even declined. 🗸🗸

Kyoto Protocol for Climate Change (1997)

  • Countries committed themselves to reducing their total emissions of greenhouse by 5 %.🗸🗸
  • Unfortunately, China was excluded from this agreement and the USA withdrew. 🗸🗸

World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002)

  • The objective of this summit held in Johannesburg was to conserve natural resources in a world that is growing in population. 🗸🗸
  • The meeting focused on issues like poverty eradication, water and sanitation, energy, health agriculture and biodiversity. 🗸🗸

COP 17 (2011)

  • The main goal of the conference held in Durban was to establish a treaty to limit carbon emissions and plan strategies to keep global temperature rise to less than 2 degree Celsius in the 21st Century. 🗸🗸
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Government Failure

Definition of government failure :

This occurs when government intervention in the economy causes an inefficient allocation of resources and a decline in economic welfare.

Often government failure arises from an attempt to solve market failure but creates a different set of problems.


Reasons for government failure

  • Lack of incentives: In the public sector, there is limited or no profit motive. Because workers and managers lack incentives to improve services and cut costs it can lead to inefficiency. For example, the public sector may be more prone to over-staffing. The government may be reluctant to make people redundant because of the political costs associated with unemployment.
  • Poor information , politicians may have poor information about the type of service to provide. Politicians may not be experts in their department but concentrate on their political ideology.
  • Political interference Decisions made for short-term political gain – rather than sound economics, e.g. keep on unproductive workers. e.g. politicians may take the short-term view rather than considering the long-term effects
  • No consistency . Change of government often leads to change of approach and new political initiatives
  • Moral hazard . The government may offer a guarantee to all bank deposits to protect the financial system, but this could encourage banks to take risks – because they know they can be bailed out by the government.
  • Regulatory capture – When government agencies become too friendly with business/groups they are trying to regulate
  • Unintended consequences. Policies to reduce relative poverty ‘means-tested benefits’ can create ‘welfare dependency.’ For those on means-tested benefits, moving from benefits to work could lead to very little extra income because of lost benefits and higher taxes. Benefits can then solve one problem of relative poverty but create new problems of higher spending and lower levels of labour market participation.
  • Special interest groups . In the US, many types of business have special tax credits for their industry; this makes it difficult to reform the tax system, and leads to horizontal inequality – business with same income can be treated differently. In the Europe, farmers receive substantial financial support from the EU, making it difficult to reform CAP. Once people are used to receiving subsidies it can be politically difficult for the government to take it away.

Examples of government failure


  • White elephant projects . Concorde supersonic airliner was a joint venture between British and French government. It was seen as a prestigious venture, so even when studies suggested it was uneconomic, politicians didn’t want to back-track but kept putting in public money. Developing Concorde cost the British and French governments £1.1 billion (about £11 billion in 2003 prices) before it even went into service—nearly ten times what was budgeted. ( Economist )
  • Tax leads to fly-tipping . A tax on rubbish is a policy to overcome market failure. To try and include the external cost of rubbish in the price. However, a tax on rubbish can lead to illegal dumping of rubbish on the roads. This creates a different problem of fly-tipping.
  • Common Agricultural Policy . The CAP was intended to solve market failure in agriculture and protect farmers incomes, but the EU didn’t take into account minimum prices would lead to over-supply; there were also unintended consequences of trade wars and environmental problems from farmers trying to supply as much as they could. See: CAP.
  • Prohibition strengthened the mafia . When the government banned alcohol in the US, it caused the mafia to supply alcohol, leading to a rise in organised crime.

Overcoming government failure

There are various things the government can try and do to overcome government failure

  • Give performance targets/profit incentives
  • Competitive tendering – where public sector bodies face competition from the private sector for the right to run a public service.
  • Employing outside private sector consultants to make decisions about how to cut costs.
  • Delegating certain decisions to non-political bodies. For example, setting interest rates was given to the Bank of England as politicians often set interest rates for political reasons.
  • See also: How to overcome government failure

Evaluation of government failure

It should be remembered many public services are not subject to the same profit goals. It is difficult to give a profit motive in health or education because the goal is not profit but the quality of service.

Also, although government failure is a real issue, it is often much less than the problems arising from market failure. Just because government intervention may be inefficient, doesn’t mean we should try to tackle problems of pollution e.t.c.

  • Market failure
  • Buffer stocks

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The five drivers for improving public sector performance: Lessons from the new World Bank Global Report

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Public marketing to face wicked problems: theoretical essay for conceptual model construction

  • Original Article
  • Published: 02 November 2022
  • Volume 20 , pages 477–489, ( 2023 )

Cite this article

essay of public sector failure

  • Fernanda Rodrigues de Siqueira   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0002-6922-5553 1 ,
  • Carlos André da Silva Müller   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0003-3707-6693 1 &
  • Fábio Rogério de Morais   ORCID: orcid.org/0000-0001-7348-5203 1  

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This study aims to raise evidence of how the domain of public marketing can be a wicked problem instrument to deal with. The evolution of public administration, from bureaucratic to New Public Governance, demonstrated a growing need for interaction between the State and society, which would not be possible without using marketing techniques applied to the public sector in order to communicate with the citizens and other stakeholders, despite the fear of using marketing strategies for public purposes. A literature review realized on wicked problems in political science and how marketing fields have adopted the concept for public marketing purposes. This research was deepened by designing a proposal for a conceptual model involving public marketing and the wicked problem. The essay enabled the development of a State action model, which involves three stages: analysis of the environment, communication with stakeholders and formulation of public policies. When this entire process takes place efficiently, it benefits the construction of public branding. The paper strives to analyze how the State can be the protagonist in facing wicked problems in society through the performance of public policies.

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1 Introduction

The marketing system commonly becomes conservative of potentially negative behaviors in a society. Organizations, when planning their marketing strategies, seek to capture their consumers by expressing norms seen as legitimate and that reflect values and belief systems regardless of their quality (Kennedy, 2016 ). There is no lack of criticism aimed at marketing strategies that promote consumerism by delighting consumers (Heath & Heath, 2016 ). These are arguments that make marketing, among the other disciplines of administration, the most resistant in the public sector.

On the other hand, the effort to make the marketing concept viable for a non-private perspective in the theoretical or practical sphere is undeniable (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ). One example is the conceptual shift attributed to marketing over time. The latest review by the American Marketing Association - AMA ( 2017 ) defines marketing as “set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large”, and reinforces the arguments put forward.

It is noteworthy that the use of marketing tools for public purposes is considered essential for the construction of political strategies, and a crucial element in the embedded identity in social relations (Marsh & Fawcett, 2011 ), and is even an important mechanism to overcome complex obstacles (Lees-Marshment, 2001 ; Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ).

Considering the political science field, the paper Dilemmas in a general theory of planning, by Rittel and Webber ( 1973 ), deals with the difficulty in guiding public policies t face wicked problems. For them, in a society based on scientific administration at the beginning of the 20th century, whose outputs were predictable, public policy management was equally measurable in terms of results. However, it had been seen the growth of heterogeneous minorities among themselves, each with one own interests and value systems (Rittel & Webber, 1973 ).

Studies linking wicked problems to marketing are typically used in the field of social or macrosocial marketing. The contexts are related to obesity (Kemper & Ballantine, 2017 ), financial crisis (Duffy et al., 2017 ), climate change (Kemper & Ballantine, 2019 ), among others. In a preliminary search, it was not possible to find a consistent volume of researches within the domain of public marketing, which represents a lacuna that should be fell up with regard to the State as a main agent to face complex problems (Head & Alford, 2015 ; Termeer et al., 2019 ).

Following this argument, the present paper intends, through a literature review, to uncover evidence of how the theoretical domain of public marketing can contribute to solving society’s perverse problems in the performance of public policies. This proposal aims to contribute to first impressions and without exhausting the theme.

For organizational purposes, this paper was developed in 3 stages: in the first, we sought to understand the wicked problem within political science and how marketing fields have adopted the concept; second, the applications and purposes of public marketing were reviewed. Finally, we analyzed, interpreted, and proposed a conceptual model.

2 Wicked problem and marketing relationship

In the field of political science, researches have been revisited the wicked problem literature, considering the growth of the increasing complex reality. Papers have investigated several perverse contexts, such as mental health problems (Samuriwo & Hannigan, 2020 ), the Covid-19 pandemic (Radin, 2020 ), water governance (Kirschke et al., 2019 ), among others. All these contexts shows advances in discussions about wicked problems (Head, 2018 ; Termeer et al., 2019 ), through which we seek to understand the governmental factors that make these problems especially difficult to be addressed by policy makers, public managers and/or policy scholars (Head & Alford, 2015 ).

Traditional politics prescribes, the unique decision-making, by elected politicians whom represents the popular will (Bresser-Pereira, 2005 ; Head & Alford, 2015 ). However, to deal with wicked problems, this centralized paradigm does not seem to be achieving success. Therefore, Head & Alford ( 2015 ) propose new strategies to obtain partial and provisional answers to the problem in the value of common understandings, although they cannot conclusively solve it, it already allows to point out courses of action that make more sense.

In this way, the literature has sought to highlight governance processes, in which public policy makers focus carefully and reflexively on the nature of wicked problems and with this seek to involve the experience and knowledge of multiple stakeholders (Head, 2018 ). Reinforcing that by ceasing to rely exclusively on public administrators, and increasingly engaged in political issues that they consider relevant, the citizen movement supports forms of active governance in facing the wicked problem, in contrast with traditional public policies (Roberts, 2004 ).

Deliberative democracy converges with the proposal for solving serious social problems (Raisio & Vartiainen, 2015 ; Roberts, 2004 ). This new political regime opens a normative space for the improvement of representative democracy, so that civil society becomes increasingly active in the decision-making process (Bresser-Pereira, 2005 ; Roberts, 2004 ) points out that citizen have the knowledge and ability to participate fully in political, technical and administrative decisions that affect their lives. In this respect, although direct citizen participation requires more time compared to representative participation, it is possible to offer meaningful dialogues and deliberations that used to prevent wicked problems from becoming crises in the future (Roberts, 2004 ).

In general, the field of marketing studies has used concepts of wicked problems from a social perspective (Domegan, 2008 ; Kennedy & Parsons, 2012 ), stating that most social marketing problems are, in fact, wicked problems (Kennedy et al., 2017 ). Social marketing consists of placing the individual with behavioral changes in the center of the process and orchestrating a wide network of relationships to achieve these goals (Domegan, 2008 ).

Kennedy et al. ( 2017 ) appoint the steps to discover the structure of the wicked problems system: identify the stakeholders involved and the social mechanisms that drive them, and finally, determine the role of each one and identify the narratives that drive their participation in these problems. Only understanding the values, competencies, and aspirations of those involved the social marketers can develop strategies to ensure correct policy management (Kennedy et al., 2017 ).

Considering that complex problems involve a large number of stakeholders with different levels of interconnecting factors, some authors consider that macrosocial marketing is the most appropriate intervention (Domegan, 2008 ; Kennedy, 2016 ). Macrosocial marketing is defined as the use of social marketing by those who control the social context influencing everyone else (Domegan, 2008 ); and may differ from microsocial marketing in observing long-term social behavioral changes, rather than consisting of behavioral changes in individuals (Kennedy, 2016 ).

As examples, macrosocial marketing definitly used to reduce systematically the effectiveness of traditional marketing for the sales of electronic cigarettes, considered an offensive product (Kennedy & Parsons, 2012 ). Also to assess the case of obesity, involving members of the supply chain, consumers, media, citizens, and government to find ways to address and change imbalances in power and opinions among stakeholders (Kemper & Ballantine, 2017 ).

3 Marketing and public branding

The marketing applied to the public sector was driven by the universality vision of the discipline for all organizations (Kotler & Levy, 1969 ), fitting to the public administration objectives (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ), although acceptance was considered low. The distrust of its main purpose is among the criticisms in the literature, because is considered associated with electoral advertising activity or the excesses of practices applied to income generation goals (Bouzas-Lorenzo, 2010 ).

However, the New Public Governance (NPG) model assumes a strong involvement of public management with its stakeholders (Raksnys et al., 2015 ). Known as public service marketing (Ribeiro & Oliveira, 2013 ; Silva, 2015 ), under discussion, that the commitments of the public sector also seek to meet the needs and expectations of citizens, which is why marketing strategies could be request (Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ). Thus, public marketing should aim public service management efficiency improvement as well to allow strategic, responsible and integrated public management, enhancing citizenship (Ribeiro & Oliveira, 2013 ; Silva, 2015 ).

Among the paths taken within marketing, branding stands out (Karens et al., 2016 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ), known as “symbolic construction consisting of a name, term, sign, symbol or design, or a combination of these, deliberately created to identify a phenomenon and differentiate it from similar phenomena adding meaning ” (Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 , p.19). In other words, a brand signals to consumers where a product or service comes from and makes it identifiable. Therefore, branding is as a communication and image building strategy among target groups (Karens et al., 2016 ).

In the public sphere, branding aims to influence citizens’ associations with public organizations and services (Zavattaro et al., 2021 ; Leijerholt et al., 2019 ). With this, political leaders and public managers make lot attempts to launch new brands in order to influence public opinion and stakeholder perceptions (Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 ; Leijerholt et al., 2019 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ). This is why branding can merge with politics through products and services offered by the government; countries, states, cities and government departments; political parties; and public policies marked by specific organizations (Marsh & Fawcett, 2011 ), as it has been considered a governance strategy through the creation of images of public services and also adding value or meaning (Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 ).

For this reason, the marketing and branding concepts application in public administration is coming closer and closer (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009 ; Leijerholt et al., 2019 ; Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ). However, there is still a need to develop a more critical research agenda on marketing, branding and less instrumental, allowing a more comprehensive questioning of the relationship between it and democracy for greater consolidation of this approach (Marsh & Fawcett, 2011 ).

Furthermore, Leijerholt et al. ( 2019 ) found theoretical gaps that consider the public sector unique conditions for brand principles implement, and that ask greater clarity and understanding of how the context affects the applicability and results of branding efforts. The branding process is expensive and time-consuming in terms of human and economic resources, so it is essential to ensure its foundations based on empirical evidence and scientifically valid models, which will help professionals to implement it successfully in public organizations (Leijerholt et al., 2019 ).

Despite this, it is possible to find examples in the literature of brands created by public policymakers and public managers (Ashworth & Kavaratzis, 2018 ; Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 ; Fay & Zavattaro, 2016 ; Stevens et al., 2021 ). In the context of the new coronavirus pandemic, for example, the implementation of brands can be a strategic instrument by many governments and political leaders to make their policies against Covid-19 more reliable and legitimate (Zavattaro et al., 2021 ).

Another example is also seen in Fay & Zavattaro ( 2016 ), when exploring organizational branding initiatives in 109 higher education institutions in the United States surveyed between 2006 and 2013, they found that 66 of them introduced branding initiatives since 2006. The authors suggest that organizations are more likely to adopt branding initiatives not only to correct potentially unstable images but, more importantly, to promote institutional successes through higher performance (Fay & Zavattaro, 2016 ).

Generally, Eshuis and Klijn ( 2012 ) distinguish five main brand objects that can be found in public governance processes: (i) tangible goods (such as the Øresund bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden), (ii) processes (elaboration of interactive policies, participatory projects, integrated environmental assessments, (iii) people (politicians like Silvio Berlusconi or Barack Obama, (iv) organizations (Tax Organizations, Tourism Offices) and (v) local (New York City through the ' I love NY’ (Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 ).

In the last case, it is common to find marketing plans prepared by local authorities that aim to increase the attraction of investments or the number of visitors (Ashworth & Kavaratzis, 2018 ). For this, it is recommended that the brand involves the inclusion of relevant stakeholders, organizing opportunities for deliberation (Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 ; Karens et al., 2016 ; Stevens et al., 2021 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ). This occurrence is evidenced in a neighborhood of Rotterdam, Netherlands, which received the Rotterdam Makers District brand, where a survey revealed that local business owners are recognized as co-producers of the brand, which add their story to the brand message which is transmitted to the target audience (Stevens et al., 2021 ).

4 Model involving public marketing and wicked problem

The marketing is established and aligned in the Public Administration modernization with a focus on stakeholders (Bouzas-Lorenzo, 2010 ; Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ). Due to the public service discredit, the Managerial Public Administration proposes an objective-based administration with a focus on the citizen (Osborne & Gaebler, 1994 ). This model will achieve by the improvement in the performance and efficiency of public services by meeting the needs and expectations of society quantitatively and qualitatively (Ribeiro & Oliveira, 2013 ; Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ).

In the New Public Governance, they emphasize on the new paradigm of public administration science, pluralism, giving importance to the links between internal and external organizations (Xu et al., 2015 ). In this theory and practice the changes aim from public management to public governance, marketing has a new meaning, which was restricted to the common imitation of private sector applicability, but above all seeks to ensure that stakeholders have a voice for greater effectiveness of public policies. Thus, the implementation of simple and flexible mechanisms arising from tribal marketing is defended, in order to involve members of the communities participating in the co-creators of public governance, aiming to the provision of public services and the processes of mutual improvement of communication (Raksnys et al., 2015 ).

The quality public services provision is essential for the country’s development and people’s satisfaction (Oliveira et al., 2013 ; Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ). From this perspective, society has challenged the government systems capacities to prepare, coordinate and quickly mobilize resources to deal with wicked problems social problems (Head & Alford, 2015 ). Since Rittel & Webber ( 1973 ), the role of government and policy formulations has highlighted in dealing with complex issues that affect social well-being. However, with the general lack of trust in government institutions, it is essential for public managers to adopt the best available evidence and communicate the value of processes to deal with wicked problems (Head, 2018 ).

In this respect, this essay presents ways that seek to involve public marketing as an instrument to face wicked problems in society in the performance of public policies. Marketing can contribute as a field of knowledge to assist in providing quality public services (Oliveira et al., 2013 ; Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ). In addition, it can provide other principles of public administration - accountability, transparency and integrity - as prerequisites that sustain the public trust that delivers good governance outcomes (Armstrong, 2005 ). As a means, it is possible to seek actions that appeal to elements of benefit and social well-being, which can influence the knowledge and attitudes and behavior of individuals (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009 ).

Therefore, this paper adds value to the topic discussed, establishing a broader view of the State’s relationship with its stakeholders for the construction of a public brand, especially considering the wicked problems that have been increasingly faced by governments today.

It is noteworthy that, in the literature consulted, there were no similar proposal identified in the field of marketing related to practices in public services to deal with wicked problems. The ones that came closer were Wymer ( 2021 ) and Camillus ( 2008 ), but both were based on social marketing (Kennedy et al., 2017 ). Therefore, it represents a theoretical and practical advance.

The strategy involves, first stabilizes, the Environmental Analysis , to ensure the correct procedures for marketing efforts and performance (Proctor, 2007 ). When appropriating the perspectives of traditional marketing, the public manager must consider the environmental forces - demographic, economic, natural, technological, political and cultural - (Kotler & Armstrong, 2015 ), which influence or may influence the behavior of the wicked problem.

This analysis should be carried out on an ongoing basis, so that environmental changes are examined, strategic assumptions validated to see if it is necessary to change course, and the effects evaluated after the formulation of public policies. This path demands time and incessant effort from the organization, since every attempt to reverse a decision or correct undesirable consequences presents another set of wicked problems, which in turn are subject to the same dilemmas (Rittel & Webber, 1973 ).

Wicked problems are complex not only because they are technical in nature or involve many components or actors, but because stakeholders have different perceptions of their nature and solutions (Klijn & Koppenjan, 2014 ; Wymer, 2021 ) highlights, therefore, that this analysis is essential for enabling the identification of the main actors involved, in order to communicate with these individuals and manage their interests and interpretations about the problem.

The proposed model is show in Fig.  1 .

figure 1

Conceptual model involving public marketing and wicked problem

As shown in Fig.  1 , the second stage – Stakeholders Communication – aims to create a shared understanding of the problem and promote joint commitment to possible ways to solve it (Camillus, 2008 ). Therefore, the strategic adjustments presented results from the first step to deal with wicked problems to the stakeholders this still can modified, if necessary, through the articulation of their aspirations, competences and values about the problem. Here, it is in line with what is established in the New Public Governance, whose tendency is to emphasize the participation of citizens in governance issues (Xu et al., 2015 ), which can be done through the management and creation of spaces for fundamental dialogues to overcome social problems.

Stakeholders’ engagement can increase public service effectiveness and contribute to a more democratic decision-making process way (Edelenbos et al., 2010 ). As Siqueira and Müller ( 2020 ) highlighted, stakeholders considered strategic resources intrinsic to organizations that guarantee benefits due to the ambiguity of their relationship with these individuals.

The process of implementing public policies by socioeconomic changes, public opinion and other factors makes it necessary to expand the unpredictable politics that structure the entire process that can be affected (Sabatier & Mazmanian, 1980 ). In this sense the third stage – Public Policy Formulation and Implementation – is the result of the continuous analysis of the environment and communication with stakeholders to overcome obstacles faced by citizens and, therefore, corresponds to one of the main tools of public marketing (Lees-Marshment, 2001 ). Emphasizing that the first cycle is the Formulation of Public Policy, when the construction of the brand is established, while the subsequent loops are the process of implementing the public policy. The analysis of the environment takes place both ex-ante and during the implementation of public policy, always in line with the strengthening of marketing and the public brand.

This proposal corroborates Souza ( 2006 ), who, by means of a literature review, synthesizes the main elements of the purpose of public policy, of which the following stand out highlights the involvement among various actors and levels of decision, and subsequent processes after its decision; the scope and not limitation to laws and rules; the achievement of pre-established goals; and, although it has short-term impacts, it is a long-term policy.

Still as a characteristic of public policy (Souza, 2006 ), besides the definition of strategies resulting from the previous steps, the public manager must evaluate the results after its implementation. The positive results of the effects of deliberations on public service are derived from good governance, carrying the concept of cooperation and social participation (Denhardt & Denhardt, 2000 ; Kemper & Ballantine, 2017 ) already highlighted the relationship between institutions in trying to solve wicked problems through institutional change, since the public sector’s failure to engage with other organizations can result in conflict and lack of political support.

Thus, the definition of strategies in the process of successful public policy implementation favors the Public Branding Building , influencing public opinion and stakeholder perceptions (Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 ; Leijerholt et al., 2019 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ) in the face of the quality of services provided. Marketing success is mostly measured in increased user awareness of service delivery and other performance measures (Proctor, 2007 ). As a scope of their outcomes, public organizations obtain greater social value through the pursuit of legitimacy and survival, consisting of efforts to build/strengthen public branding (Leijerholt et al., 2019 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ) which consequently adds greater value in future public marketing actions.

Every public policy effort is not exclusively related to norms and their effectiveness (Ribeiro & Oliveira, 2013 ; Silva, 2015 ), but also, and perhaps mainly, to be recognized as legitimate by society, due to the fact that, many times, due to coordination and control difficulties, there is a possibility of decoupling (Meyer & Rowan, 1977 ). Improving the public image can increase stakeholders’ trust with the public sector, so that they motivate and attract individuals to governance processes (Karens et al., 2016 ; Leijerholt et al., 2019 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ), which makes it feasible to face new wicked problems.

All coordinated actions should be strengthened through the wide dissemination of their actions, both for the knowledge and engagement of the population in facing social problems, and for the purpose of transparency of the actions promoted in the political, economic, and social fields (Ribeiro & Oliveira, 2013 ). As a means, one can develop digital media strategies, for example, since they enable increased performance and perceived value of the public brand or public service offered (Eshuis & Klijn, 2012 ; Leijerholt et al., 2019 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ) as the discourse is conceived in communication channels. It is in this sense that the focus on communication with the public is seen as the greatest potential of marketing with public administration (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009 ; Silva & Minciotti, 2021 ; Zavattaro et al., 2021 ), as it enables public policy to have greater social acceptance in order to legitimize itself in its environment or else maintain its legitimacy by society.

5 Final considerations and research agenda

This essay was developed with the purpose of analyzing the possibilities of public marketing to face wicked problems, as one of the several organizational capabilities that public agencies have for effectiveness in the performance of public policies. It is argued that marketing, as a field of knowledge, is underutilized in the public area, and that this underutilization reduces the effectiveness of public policies, especially those that are considered wicked.

Thus, keeping the initial conceptualization of wicked problem by Rittel and Webber ( 1973 ), a conceptual model was developed with the purpose of suggesting the operationalization of public marketing to deal with complex problems. The advantage of the proposed model is the focus on stakeholders, pointed out by the literature as one of the mechanisms to solve problems of this nature. Reforms in public administration have been opening space for practical marketing. The New Public Governance has recognized stakeholder participation as a major differential, which suggests convergence between the disciplines and was captured by the proposed modeling.

Moreover, the search for strengthening public brands is growing, because the dialogue with stakeholders allows the management of conflicting interests and increases their awareness and support in facing wicked problems, which is only possible if the public administration is recognized as legitimate. In the private sector, branding has been fundamental to maintaining stakeholders’ reputation and trust. The same path should be applied to public organizations, in order to influence the perception of individuals by using brand principles, attaching greater social value to the provision of public services to guarantee/maintain legitimacy.

Although governmental communication is consolidated as an important mechanism of interaction with society, the unilateral paradigm of communication does not guarantee the necessary effectiveness to deal with complex problems, and is one of the main reasons why the distrustful use of marketing in the public sector needs to be overcome. Even the new paradigms of public administration make it preponderant that well-established interaction mechanisms be implemented for good governance, which is not possible without a clear strategic deliberation that lies within marketing.

Furthermore, it is important to highlight that, even in the absence of the intention to build a public marketing strategy, it is possible that isolated actions naturally arise public brands. In this case, the manager’s risks falls back on not having guarantees that this possible brand will be consolidated by the stakeholders in the interest of the public administration.

This theoretical essay aims to uncover evidence of how the theoretical domain of public marketing can contribute to solving society’s wicked problems in the performance of public policies based on linking two distinct approaches still little discussed in the literature: the wicked problem, within the political science field, and public marketing, which still suffers some resistance from researchers and practitioners. However, the readings reveal a huge research field agenda, either in theoretical or empirical studies.

Based on the proposed model, a proposal for further research would be to evaluate at what level public policies are aimed at interacting with stakeholders, and, therefore, making use of public marketing, even if the terminology is not adopted. New research can direct efforts towards understanding how public marketing can mediate relational tensions, resulting from conflicting situations arising from the diverse interests among stakeholders on the way to solving wicked problems.

Although conceptual branding has some robustness in the public sector, it still seems incipient for many public policies. Here, the conceptual model presented represents a possible path for building public branding through the resolution of wicked problems. However, the need for research to propose new alternatives for strengthening branding in public institutions also emerges.

As pointed out in this study, the public manager must evaluate the results after the implementation of public policies. The fact is that public policies have a long-term effect, so it seems interesting to resume communication with stakeholders at other times as a means to help measure the impacts. Research on how marketing strategies can open space to favor continuous relationships with the various stakeholders also seems promising.

Since the initial conceptualization of a wicked problem it has been shown that the way in which the problem is solved can result in undesirable consequences. No examples of undesirable consequences arising from trying to solve certain wicked problems have yet been evidenced in the literature. It is clear that the formulation and, especially, the implementation of public policies can present flaws, so it could be verified how the State acts with marketing at this moment in order to mitigate the negative effects resulting from an inefficient public policy, so as to maintain its legitimacy.

Conversely, the public policy may be well conducted and achieve its established goals, but somehow, it is possible that it is not recognized by society. These cases instigate for studies on how public marketing can be better explored, in order to communicate to its stakeholders and society in general that the public policy is effective, since it mitigates the negative impacts resulting from wicked problems.

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We thank the Federal Institute of Rondonia (IFRO) for the resources made available through the Qualification Incentive Program (PIQ).

We thank the Getulio Vargas School of Business Administration of São Paulo for post-doctoral internship carried out by the second author.

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de Siqueira, F.R., da Silva Müller, C.A. & de Morais, F.R. Public marketing to face wicked problems: theoretical essay for conceptual model construction. Int Rev Public Nonprofit Mark 20 , 477–489 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12208-022-00351-5

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South Africa’s public service is dysfunctional – the 5 main reasons why

essay of public sector failure

Senior Researcher/Lecturer, University of Johannesburg

Disclosure statement

Marcel Nagar receives funding from the National Research Fund (NRF).

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A woman pushes a wheelbarrow carrying containers of water.

A public policy works well if it’s a good policy and if it’s carried out well. Politicians make policy and specialist bureaucrats in the public service carry it out. These appointed officials are supposed to follow a strict professional and ethical code of conduct.

Over the past 30 years, South Africa has not had this kind of public service. Public servants have not been able to put into practice the policies designed to end poverty, inequality and unemployment.

My research has centred on the intersection between bureaucracy, democracy and development in Africa under the conceptual banner of the developmental state . A developmental state is typically that in which the state plays a dominant role in driving rapid economic growth and development to improve the welfare of the population.

I have also examined South Africa’s efforts at constructing a developmental state in the aftermath of COVID-19 , and developmental local government . Sadly, this review shows that the country’s public service is largely dysfunctional.

A change in political leadership would make little difference to development without a major reform of the public service.

Read more: South Africans are revolting against inept local government. Why it matters

In my view the public service has failed to uphold the values and principles governing its operations as outlined in the constitution . It has not done what section 195 of the constitution requires:

maintain professional ethics

use resources in an economically efficient way

operate in an impartial and equitable manner

adopt a development-oriented vision and approach

strive for inclusivity, accountability and transparency.

Failure to maintain a standard of professional ethics

South Africa’s public service has failed to perform ethically in its public duties and its internal operations.

This shows in the high prevalence of corruption – bribery, embezzlement, fraud and conflict of interest. Citizens are all too familiar with the term “ state capture ”, referring to entrenched corruption in the public sector.

The 2018 judicial commission that probed corruption in the public sector found evidence of

a network of persons outside and inside government acting illegally and unethically in furtherance of state capture.

Some ordinary bureaucrats such as traffic and police officials are corrupt too. This contributes to lawlessness, disorder and crime.

Failure to use resources in an economically efficient way

Maladministration, typically the mismanagement of public resources, has been a growing concern. The state capture commission (also called the Zondo commission) found that

the primary way that money has been extracted from state institutions has been through procurement.

Public procurement abuses were most rife among state-owned enterprises such as the power utility Eskom , the transport parastatal Transnet and South Africa’s largest manufacturer of defence equipment, Denel .

State money and resources have also been squandered through unauthorised, irregular, fruitless and wasteful spending. This is often often a result of

inadequate skills and capacity

governance failures

lack of accountability and consequence management

poor financial management

inadequate financial controls.

According to the auditor-general, unauthorised expenditure by national and provincial government departments totalled R4.59 billion (US$247 million) in the 2022-2023 financial year. Irregular expenditure was R63.37 billion (US$3.38 billion). The relevant accounting officers and authorities manage an estimated collective expenditure budget of R3.10 trillion (US$167 billion).

Failure to operate impartially and equitably

The public service has failed to remain politically neutral. Civil servants should be impartial and objective, and act in the best interest of the public. Section 197 of the constitution says that

no employee of the public service may be favoured or prejudiced only because that person supports a particular political party or cause.

The governing African National Congress’s policy of cadre deployment has brought politics into the public service.

The policy involves placing party loyalists in prominent positions in the civil service. It thwarts the building of an impartial and independent public service.

The Zondo commission found that cadre deployment contravened the Public Service Act .

Read more: South Africa's ruling party has favoured loyalty over competence - now cadre deployment has come back to bite it

Senior public servants have been appointed because of their loyalty to the party rather than merit and technical competence . Consequently, unqualified and incompetent personnel can be found at the highest level of management.

In 2021, 35% of senior managers did not have the requisite qualifications for their positions.

Failure to adopt a development-oriented vision and approach

For an aspiring developmental state such as South Africa , success lies in providing basic public goods and services. Access to housing, infrastructure, healthcare and education is vital to create an environment for inclusive economic growth.

The state is struggling to provide these basic goods and services. For example, every South African has been affected (directly or indirectly) by power outages since 2007 . Many rural communities still do not have access to water and sanitation systems, a basic human right .

Read more: South Africa has a plan to make its public service professional. It's time to act on it

Growing discontent can be seen in the high number of service delivery protests. There were about 3,000 between 2004 and 2019, rising to 2,455 from July to September 2022.

A 2023 survey by Afrobarometer , the independent pan-African survey network, found that only 28% of respondents were satisfied with the provision of water and sanitation. Only 12% were satisfied with access to reliable electricity and 11% with government’s efforts at reducing crime.

Strive for inclusivity, accountability and transparency

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, South Africa has sought to become an inclusive, accountable and transparent state.

To this end, the government has created ways to include citizens in its governance processes and in holding officials accountable. These include public hearings, public access to parliamentary portfolio committee meetings and local government development planning processes, and ward committees .

But the politicisation of the public service has made it more challenging to promote public accountability and transparency. Policies such as cadre deployment have eroded the integrity of the public service by blurring the lines and responsibilities between (elected) politicians and (appointed) public servants. It becomes difficult to know where to assign the blame for service delivery failures, maladministration and corruption.

Looking forward

The government appears to be finally taking the idea of a professional public service more seriously. In 2022, it published a framework for the professionalisation of the public sector which

aims to build a state that better serves our people, that is insulated from undue political interference and where appointments are made based on merit.

The policy seeks to ensure that the public service is staffed by “professional, skilled, selfless, and honest” civil servants who are committed to upholding the values enshrined in the constitution. It remains to be seen whether this can be achieved while the ruling party ANC remains committed to cadre deployment.

With general elections on 29 May , it is important to note that new political leadership would not necessarily bring about instant change in people’s socioeconomic conditions.

Not when the public service is dysfunctional. This is true not only at the national level, but, more importantly, at the local government level , which has the task of delivering basic services to the poorest of the poor.

  • Unemployment
  • Social justice
  • Transparency
  • Public service
  • Accountability
  • Afrobarometer
  • Professional ethics
  • State capture
  • inequality in South Africa
  • Developmental state
  • Peace and Security
  • Inclusivity
  • Service delivery protests
  • South Africa democracy 30
  • South Africa election 2024

essay of public sector failure

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Executive Dean, Faculty of Health

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Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, Earth System Science (School of Science)

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A newsletter briefing on the health-care policy debate in Washington.

Fetterman, Smith want a Senate mental health commission

essay of public sector failure

with research by McKenzie Beard

Thank goodness it’s Friday. I’m Dan Diamond, and I don’t understand my colleague’s quest to find the best ice cream place in the District. (It’s obviously Happy Ice Cream .) Send scoops of all flavors to [email protected] . Not a subscriber? Sign up here .

Today’s edition: The Justice Department is launching a new task force focused on antitrust issues in the health-care sector. How one high-ranking senator would modernize the National Institutes of Health . But first …

Senators team up on mental health plan

Sen. John Fetterman (D-Pa.), the hulking, hoodie-wearing Democrat, is impossible to miss as he wanders the Capitol or takes outspoken stands on social media. Sen. Tina Smith (D-Minn.) is known more for her subtlety and sharp wit — and her backroom diplomacy as “ the velvet hammer .”

But both lawmakers share a bond: They’ve been laid low by depression — a condition that doesn’t discriminate between size or personality. Fetterman checked himself into a hospital last year for treatment, a decision that moved his Minnesota colleague who’s spoken about her own challenges, too.

“For me, depression drained hope away, and the promise that I’d ever feel hopeful again,” Smith wrote in an essay last year.

Now Fetterman and Smith are unveiling a bill to establish a bipartisan Senate mental health commission they say would address gaps in patient care, provider payment and other persistent problems, among other goals they shared exclusively with The Health 202.

“Before I sought help for my depression, I was the biggest cynic — but it truly worked,” Fetterman said in a statement to The Post. “I’m committed to ensuring that everyone suffering from mental health challenges has access to the same resources and treatment that I did.”

How it would work

The U.S. Senate Commission on Mental Health Act would create an independent commission charged with investigating barriers to care delivery; crafting an annual report that reviews ongoing research; and making recommendations to congressional leaders and the White House.

Panel members would probably include senators in the mental health caucus — which Smith co-founded last year with Sens. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) — as well as outside experts. Specific priorities for the first year include examining mental health reimbursement rates within federal health plans and workforce challenges.

Does Congress really need another commission? While an estimated 1 in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness, there are persistent disagreements over how best to fund the national response, boost workforce and address other challenges.

Fetterman’s office said the commission would fill a void, establishing a federal entity explicitly charged with reviewing ongoing evidence on mental health and making policy recommendations.

A commission could help “take the politics out of this issue,” agreed Hannah Wesolowski , chief advocacy officer of the National Alliance on Mental Illness , one of several organizations that support the legislation. (The American Academy of Pediatrics , the American Association of Suicidology and others are also on board.)

The legislation would go through the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee , which counts Smith as a member.

“We owe it to everyone struggling with mental health issues to treat this issue with the priority and urgency it deserves,” Smith said in a statement. “Big problems call for big solutions, and a Commission would give this topic the focus it deserves in Congress.”

Wesolowski commended Fetterman and Smith for being open about their depression.

“It was not that long ago that talking about your own mental health struggles would have been a career-ender for any politician,” she said.

Agency alert

Justice department unveils health-care antitrust task force.

The Justice Department is establishing a new task force focused on antitrust issues within the health-care sector. 

Jonathan Kanter , assistant attorney general for the antitrust division, announced the initiative in an interview yesterday with The Post’s Cat Zakrzewski , saying the country is at a “turning point in antitrust enforcement.”

A closer look: The Health Care Monopolies and Collusion task force will concentrate on identifying and addressing antitrust concerns in the industry, including issues related to payer-provider consolidation, serial acquisitions, medical billing, labor practices and quality of care. 

The panel, to be led by longtime antitrust prosecutor Katrina Rouse , will also facilitate the division’s policy advocacy, investigations, and — when warranted — civil and criminal enforcement in health-care markets. 

  • “ We are upping our game ,” Kanter told Cat. “It’s really important that we adjust to the market realities and make sure that we have not only the resources devoted to addressing these concerns, but also the expertise.”   
  • Kanter side-stepped Cat’s question about whether UnitedHealth Group had grown too large — a question detailed in The Post’s recent investigation into the health-care conglomerate — but acknowledged he was worried about cyberattacks and other risks to patient care. “ When certain large entities are controlling so much of our health-care decision-making … it can often create massive risk of failure ,” Kanter said.

Meanwhile …

A government watchdog found that Veterans Affairs leaders improperly handed out almost $11 million in bonuses to more than 180 senior executives last year, with several taking home over $100,000 , our colleague Lisa Rein scooped. 

The bonuses were sources from funds earmarked by Congress to recruit and retain staff for processing new benefits for veterans exposed to toxic burn pits — not to reward top officials in Washington, according to a report from Inspector General Michael Missal ’s office. 

The vast majority of the payouts went to senior executives inside the sprawling veterans health system, led by Shereef Elnahal , undersecretary for health. Elnahal authorized 148 bonuses for headquarters executives averaging $61,666 each, without informing Secretary Denis McDonough .

Upon learning of these payments in September, McDonough instructed all the executives to reimburse VA. However, eight months later, the bonuses are still being recouped due to recipients having already spent the money, with some contesting the order, Missal’s office found.

The view from VA: McDonough concurred with numerous recommendations in the report, including the need for better assessments of future bonuses, a new review of previous awards and more oversight from the agency’s legal office. He will also decide whether the leaders who approved the improper payments should face discipline.

On the Hill

Cassidy outlines proposals to revamp nih.

The top Republican on the Senate HELP Committee is pushing to modernize the National Institutes of Health. 

Sen. Bill Cassidy (La.) released a white paper yesterday outlining proposals aimed at improving the federal research agency as it seeks to recapture public trust eroded during the coronavirus pandemic. The report follows his request for stakeholder feedback on the issue last year. His suggestions include:

  • Using machine learning tools to assess its programs and streamline its research portfolio. 
  • Piloting secure processes for sharing of NIH application and review data , while exploring strategies to promote the voluntary disclosure of null or inconclusive clinical trial results. 
  • Developing a process for public input on agency practices , while leveraging NIH’s Scientific Management Review Board for feedback on its structure and operations. 

New this a.m.: Roughly 1 in 8 adults report having taken one of an increasingly popular class of prescription drugs known as GLP-1s, which include Ozempic, Wegovy and Mounjaro, according to a KFF poll . 

List prices for the blockbuster weight loss and diabetes drugs can exceed $1,000 for a month’s supply before insurance coverage, rebates and discounts. More than half of those who report having used the medications said it was difficult to afford them, with 1 in 5 calling it “very difficult.” 

In the courts

A gay couple couldn’t access ivf benefits. they’re suing new york city..

A first-of-its-kind class-action lawsuit accuses New York City of denying in vitro fertilization benefits to thousands of gay male employees of the city and their partners, The Post’s Maham Javaid reports. 

Nicholas Maggipinto , 38, and Corey Briskin , 35, claim the city is discriminating against male same-sex couples and violating federal, state and local laws by denying them IVF insurance benefits that other city employees are able to access.

The couple are seeking reimbursements for all city employees who have been denied coverage since the benefits were made available, and they’re trying to force the city to change its policy to include gay men. The case hinges on whether the city can lawfully bar same-sex male couples from accessing IVF benefits. 

The view from NYC: A spokeswoman for City Hall, Liz Garcia , told The Post they will review the lawsuit. The administration of Mayor Eric Adams (D) “proudly supports the rights of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers to access the health care they need,” she added. 

In other health news

  • On the move: The Better Medicare Alliance has tapped Don Dempsey to serve as its vice president of policy and research. Additionally, Jennifer Nord Mallard has been appointed vice president of government affairs, alongside a slate of other new hires . 
  • On our radar: The Biden administration is crafting a rule that would require hospitals to meet minimum cybersecurity standards, Anne Neuberger , deputy national security adviser for cyber and emerging technology, said in an interview yesterday at the Bloomberg Tech Summit .
  • In Missouri: Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a bill kicking Planned Parenthood off the state’s Medicaid program, a goal pursued by Republicans for several years, despite the organization halting abortion services in Missouri. 

Quote of the week

“ Roe was never enough … We've been handed crumbs and told it's a meal. It's not.” — Lizz Winstead, co-creator and former head writer of “The Daily Show,” on advancing reproductive freedom advocacy.

Health reads

On a D.C. sidewalk, a race to save a Marine general’s life (By Dan Lamothe | The Washington Post )

Hack targeting hospital chain Ascension is impacting patient care (By Daniel Gilbert, Joseph Menn and Dan Diamond | The Washington Post)

U.S. to post influenza A wastewater data online to help with bird flu probe, official says (By Julie Steenhuysen | Reuters)

Thanks for reading! See you Monday. 

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    1. Introduce profit incentives/performance targets into the government sector. There is no reason why those working in the public sector can't be given performance targets. For example, schools can be given targets to achieve minimum exam standards and climb up the league tables of exam performance. People working in the public sector can be ...

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    Often government failure arises from an attempt to solve market failure but creates a different set of problems. Reasons for government failure. Lack of incentives: In the public sector, there is limited or no profit motive. Because workers and managers lack incentives to improve services and cut costs it can lead to inefficiency.

  5. PDF Public Policy Failur: How Often and What is Failure, Anyway?

    These results suggest the following on the regularity of failure and success in public policy initiatives, at least in initiatives supported by the World Bank: • Projects fail outright (or worse) 10.5% of the time. • Projects are fully successful (or better) 34% of the time.

  6. PDF Public sector inefficiencies: Are we addressing the root causes?

    main problem areas in the public sector; and . the root causes of problems are not being adequately addressed. Future research should emphasise the relevance and importance of identifying the root causes of problems in the public sector environment and effective application of this approach in the public sector context.

  7. PDF Successful Failure in Public Policy Work

    It matters if public policies succeed in solving societal problems, but a dominant narrative holds that policies fail 'often'. A large-sample study discussed in this paper suggests that this is not accurate, however. The most common policy result in this study is more ambiguous—what I call 'successful failure'.

  8. The five drivers for improving public sector performance: Lessons from

    Almost daily, headlines in the world's leading newspapers are full of examples of public sector failures: public money is mismanaged or outright misused; civil servants are not motivated or are poorly trained; government agencies fail to coordinate with each other; and as a result, citizens are either deprived of quality public services, or must go through a bureaucratic maze to access them.

  9. (PDF) Performance failure in the public sector

    Political leadership Political leadership is important in driving performance improvement. Andrews et al.: Performance failure in the public sector 283. importance of users' needs, the ...

  10. Essays in Public Sector Economics: Central and Local

    lifetime when there are imperfections in the capital market. Essay III is composed of two notes on the distribùtion branch of the public sector: the first suggests the possibility of a "market failure" in an individual's decision to give charity which may justify collective action, and the second compares the incidence of the public sector ...

  11. PDF Are Public projects doomed to failure from the start?

    of public-sector projects resulted in failure of some sort. A New Zealand government study judged 38 % of government projects a success, while 59 % involved problems and 3 % were a complete failure. 18 % Government 59 % Retail sector 32 % Financial sector 27 % Manufacturing 84 % failure of some sort 59 % involved problems 38 % success 3 % ...

  12. Public Sector Failure Theory Against Market Failure Theory

    an alternative to the theory of market failure. According to the theory of pub -. lic sector failure, the public sector may fail intervening in the mechanism of the. economy. In other words ...

  13. Reasons for public sector failure

    Reasons for public sector failure Introduction Public sector failure occurs when the economy and the country's resources are managed in such a way that the welfare of the people is not improved and the delivery of services is ineffective and inefficient. Management failure

  14. PDF Failing the Public through Public Policy

    Another feature contributing to public policy failure in the local sphere is to be found in administrative and institutional capacity. Capacity signifies the availability of and access to tangible human, financial and technological resources as well as the knowledge to implement policies and deliver services (Koma 2010:114-115). ...

  15. PDF Failure of Public Sector Enterprises: A Case Study of SAARC Countries

    intrinsic inadequacies in the public institutional structures, which can be controlled through restructuring (Tahir and Noor, 2009). Martin Rama (Public Sector Downsizing) explained that public sector is downsizing in developing countries because of high deficits and predicted that downsizing would be a reform in developing countries.

  16. PDF Public Sector Reforms in Africa: Focus, Challenges and Lessons ...

    failure and success. There is also the need for students of public sector reforms to question further the prevailing assumptions and theories underpinning these reforms. ... Public sector reforms are mainly driven by the quest for efficiency, effectiveness and responsiveness to public demands. There is also the desire to ensure affordability ...

  17. Public marketing to face wicked problems: theoretical essay for

    The essay enabled the development of a State action model, which involves three stages: analysis of the environment, communication with stakeholders and formulation of public policies. ... since the public sector's failure to engage with other organizations can result in conflict and lack of political support. ...

  18. Economics Grade 12 Notes

    Public sector failure occurs when the public sector fails to provide goods and services to the people. There are many reasons for public sector failure. Some of these are: ##### Management failure. Ignorance, e. lack of leadership, experience and training, might result in the improvement of the welfare of someone at the expense of someone else. ...

  19. Organizational failure and turnaround in public sector organizations: A

    As in the for-profit sector, 4 different types of markers of failure (financial, physical, behavioral, and managerial) were found in the public sector. The most common markers of failure in the public sector were an inability to hit core targets, poor working relationships with external stakeholders, high management turnover, employee distrust ...

  20. Public sector failure

    Reasons for public sector failure. Management failures: Lack of leadership, experience and training, might result in the improvement of one person and at the expense of someone else; Apathy. Government shows no interest in delivering services to the public; No accountability; Corruption and poor service delivery are signs of apathy; Lack of ...

  21. Essay 5 [2024] Reasons for Public Sector Failure Economics ...

    Essay 5: Discuss in detail Reasons for Public Sector Failure. [6 marks]Economics Grade 12 CAPS Syllabus for South African Students which covers the following...

  22. South Africa's public service is dysfunctional

    The 2018 judicial commission that probed corruption in the public sector found evidence of . ... Failure to use resources in an economically efficient way. Maladministration, typically the ...

  23. The British economy is being crushed by a failing public sector

    Its latest update on public sector productivity showed that output has declined over the last year at an annualised rate of 2.3pc. That means we are putting more and more money into education, the ...

  24. 2021-2023 GR12 Economics P1 Essays Final

    - Public sector failure can be regarded as a failure of government to achieve its objectives. (Accept any other correct relevant introduction.) (Max 2) BODY: MAIN PART. Management failure - Ignorance leads to the implementation of conflicting or wrong policies. - Incompetence in the public sector may be due to improper qualifications, lack of ...

  25. Fetterman, Smith want a Senate mental health commission

    Today's edition: The Justice Department is launching a new task force focused on antitrust issues in the health-care sector. How one high-ranking senator would modernize the National Institutes ...