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TRANSFORMATION 12 1990 ARTICLE DEMOCRATISING ECONOMIC GROWTH ALTERNATIVE GROWTH MODELS FOR THE FUTURE Stephen Gelb The debate about future economic strategies and development paths for South Africa is being conducted at present in terms of two separate concerns redistribution and growth The former is a response to the need to redress the extreme inequalities in distribution of income and wealth and the related disparities in living standards for which South Africa is notorious and which have historically been expressed essentially in racial terms The latter is a response to the severe decline in South Africa s economic growth performance over recent years which has evidently coincided with and been linked to the change in the political balance which has now finally brought us to the edge of negotiations I take as implicit both the need for significant reorganisation of our economy and society to redress racial inequalities in distribution of economic power and resources as well as the explanation at least in broad terms for the existing situation as put forward during the 1970s by the radical view of South African development This paper begins instead with an examination of the nature of South Africa s economic decline and of the obstacles which exist to restoring sustained growth in the future It then continues with an examination of the business government attempt to counter this decline The fourth section spells out in broad terms an alternative approach to restoring economic growth one which is being debated and developed by economists and others linked with the ANC and its allies South Africa s Economic Crisis The essence of the argument developed at greater length elsewhere is that considered in the context of a long run perspective on capitalist growth and development the South African economy has been in an economic crisis since 1974 The popular connotation associated with crisis is an idea of collapse or breakdown But the original more useful meaning of the

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