The concept of restitution in South African economic policy documents between 1994 and 2014 : an ethical analysis
There is widespread concern in the democratic South African context over economic inequalities. However, given the problems of poverty, unemployment and inequality, there is a need to consider economic restitution. Restitution is used in public policy often without conceptual clarity. This study is situated in the field of economic ethics; therefore it will contribute to philosophical and more specifically ethical discourse on the concept of economic restitution. The focus of the study is on South African economic policy documents released by the government in response to current economic inequalities in the period between 1994 and 2014. Such policy documents include the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP, 1994); Growth Employment and Redistribution Programme (GEAR, 1996); Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative South Africa (AsgiSA, 2005); Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP, 2007) and its iterations; New Growth Path (NGP, 2010); and the National Development Plan (NDP, 2012). This study focuses on how the concept of restitution is understood in South African policy documents in the period between 1994 and 2014 in response to current economic inequalities. It identifies implicit and explicit references to the concept of economic restitution; describes the scope of the term as used in such policy documents; analyses and compares how the term restitution is understood; and indicates any emerging patterns in this regard.