Escaping the inequality trap

DGMT’s new five-year strategy

To build a thriving society, more people must have the knowledge, skills and opportunity to participate fully in society and the economy, for the good of one another, and in synergy with the environment. We have identified 10 opportunities to build a thriving society. They constitute some of the most profound twists to enable South Africa to escape the inequality trap. This is because we can’t keep tracing the same old pathways to development in South Africa. We need bold and decisive twists that get us out of the rut, give a fresh perspective and create new opportunities. After reviewing our work over the past five years and months of strategic discussions about the path ahead, DGMT has finalised its five-year strategy (2023-2027). The publication of our new strategy is the precursor to the launch of our new-look website.

What is the inequality trap?

South Africa is one of the most unequal in the world. Our painful past of racial exclusion trapped most black people in poverty. At the end of apartheid, there was progress, hope and renewal, but the gap between rich and poor remains far too wide. 

Today, wealth is still concentrated in the hands of about one-fifth of the population. Poorer people have worse nutrition, health and education, choking their potential to acquire the knowledge and skills needed to get a job, earn and participate fully in society. When their children grow up, this cycle of exclusion is repeated, generation after generation. They are stuck in an inequality trap with few chances to break free. 

How do we escape the inequality trap?

Escaping the inequality trap requires a fundamental change in a child’s life trajectory. Changing trajectories begins with a healthy pregnancy. A child that is nurtured, eats nutritious food and is ready to read and do maths by the time they go to school is on a different path compared to a child that is stunted, has poor early language development and has no caring adult at home. Skills beget skills so a child with a strong start and quality schooling will have more chances to fulfil their potential. And when more people build the knowledge and skills needed to fully participate in the economy, we have the makings of a thriving society, and a way out of the inequality trap.

To explore our full strategy for 2023-2027, read it magazine-style on ISSUU below or download a pdf here.

If you want to read the short version, read it on ISSUU here, or download a pdf here.



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