Articles by Pippa Green
Why the South African state should not subsidise minibus taxi owners
About 60% of South African households use minibus taxis as their main mode of transport. They spend about 26% of their gross earnings in doing so. Should taxi operators receive subsidies from the state? There are several reasons why policymakers should think about enhancing competition and improving efficiency in the public transport sector instead.
How land reform can boost inclusive agricultural growth
Land reform is not only politically important: it could be a key catalyst for inclusive growth and employment creation. But policymakers need to effect some fundamental reforms and targeted interventions to support emerging commercial farmers. The interventions range from better governance of the agricultural sector, to massive improvements in port and rail logistics, more effective veterinary practices, and easier access to finance for new farmers.
How effective is income tax in reducing inequality in SA?
South Africa has one of the most progressive income-tax systems in the world. Income tax significantly reduces market-income inequality by flattening the incomes of the rich and providing financing for instruments of social protection, such as the social grants system and free basic services. Personal Income Tax is the government’s largest tax instrument and has increased as a share of tax revenue over the past decade. However, it has become less progressive over time, when measured as a share of income despite rate increases. While the amount of income tax has increased, market incomes, particularly of the top decile, have grown at a greater rate.
Did the TERS policy save jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic?
South Africa’s Temporary Employer-Employee Relief Scheme (TERS) has arguably served as the country’s most important labour market intervention in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to date. As the government winds down the policy two years after its inception, a key question is: was it successful in achieving its primary aim of saving jobs?
How South African agriculture - and consumers - will feel the war in Ukraine.
The Russia-Ukraine war has raised concerns about potential escalating global food insecurity as these countries are major exporters of grains, oilseeds, fertilizers, and crude oil. Since the war started, the prices of these commodities have risen significantly, and South Africa, interlinked in the global commodities market, is exposed to these prices increases. This article attempts to show how the conflict may affect South Africa’s agricultural sector, as well as consumers, by focusing on trade linkages of agricultural commodities and inputs prices, as well as price transmissions 
A redistributive approach to paying for a universal pension contribution subsidy
This is part 3 of a three-part series on pension fund coverage. The first article provides estimates of the size of the pension coverage gap, the second deals with the fiscal costs of co-funding universal coverage, and this article suggests how this might be paid for.
What would it cost to subsidize a universal pension plan?
A key objective of social security policy is to increase participation in contributory savings arrangements that provide funded incomes in retirement. This is the second of a three-part series on pension fund coverage. The first estimated the size of the pension coverage gap. In this article, the fiscal costs of co-funding universal coverage are examined. In the third part of the series, a tax reform that might pay for a pension plan subsidy is suggested.
What is the size and distribution of the pension contribution gap?
Out of 16 million employed people under the age of 65, about seven million contribute to pension or provident funds. Most of those who are not covered earn below the tax threshold, including workers in the informal and agricultural sectors. This first of a three-part series quantifies the pension coverage gap. The second and third parts will examine the fiscal costs of co-funding universal coverage and how this might be paid for.
How the COVID-19 grant has reached the once forgotten
The COVID-19 grant is the first in South Africa to explicitly target the unemployed. By the end of 2020, the grant had brought some six million previously unreached people into a welfare net that had previously excluded them on the assumption they could find work. How have the grants impacted poverty and inequality? And what are the implications for long-term policy?
How to fund higher education in South Africa: a public-private-university partnership may be the answer
Higher education is both a private and public good – for society, an investment in the future, for the individual, a chance to improve their lives. But the current model of student funding is neither financially nor fiscally sustainable. It is unlikely that government can fund the “missing middle” – students from households with incomes between R350 000 and R600 000 a year. What then to do? A loan scheme involving universities, government, and the private sector may enable students to graduate and to start re-paying only once their income reaches a certain level.