Past eventResearch Event

South Africa’s Future: Reflecting on Two Decades of Democracy

20 January 2014 - 3:00pm to 4:00pm

Chatham House, London


Colin Coleman, Partner Managing Director, Head of South Africa Office and Investment Banking Division, Sub-Saharan Africa, Goldman Sachs International
Discussant: Martin Plaut, Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Chair: Professor Jack Spence OBE, King's College London



South Africa will mark 20 years since its first democratic election on 27 April 2014. In those 20 years, the South African economy has been transformed into a leading emerging market. Its GDP has almost tripled, creating a much greater tax base and an emerging black middle class. However, many structural problems persist, with high levels of unemployment, severe inequality, poor labour relations, and slow improvements in education presenting significant challenges to policy-makers seeking further socio-economic progress. 

At this event, Colin Coleman of Goldman Sachs will present the main findings of their recent report, Two Decades of Freedom: What South Africa Is Doing With It, And What Now Needs To Be Done, and discuss this year’s elections and policy options for the future.