||South Africa’s transition to democracy may be said to be complete. Yet the challenges facing our government and our people have only just begun.
South African society is characterised by enormous inequalities. While racial discrimination is no longer on the statute books, black people constitute the overwhelming majority of the unemployed, the under-skilled, the homeless and the poor. Fundamental economic transformation, and the urgent need to extend the basic necessities of life to all our people, are the most urgent questions facing government. These tasks are complicated by South Africa’s re-entry into the global economy.
Rigorous debate is essential to successful policy formulation. An arms-length research environment is a critical source of information both for South African decision-makers and those planning to do business in this country. It is also important for the next generation of leaders.
In South Africa, we are blessed with countless research institutions, where talented and committed researchers are looking for answers to our development problems. We can also learn valuable lessons from research conducted in other countries. While the information gathered through these endeavours is very valuable, it is not always made available to the general public. Where it is publicised, it is usually because it serves the sponsoring organisation’s objective to do so. It may not legitimately claim to be unbiased, and is seldom self-critical. It is rarely presented in a format that makes it accessible to those outside of a particular organisation.
Indicator South Africa aims to bridge the gap between the academic and the ‘real’ worlds. For the past 18 years, the journal has presented the fruits of academic research - from tertiary institutions around the country - in a readable and useable format to decision-makers and opinion-formers. It is the only publication in Africa that ‘popularises’ research to make it more accessible.
Each issue of the Indicator covers the latest research findings, observations from the field and the perspectives of decision-makers in the private and public sectors in the political, economic, social, legal and development fields. Recent developments include an Education and Health Monitor, which will debate and track progress in these two critical areas of development, and a Research Monitor, which provides a wealth of information about research activities around the country.
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