Skilling up South Africa.

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Despite the demise of apartheid in South Africa, many of the ravages of the former system have remained intact. Poverty is still widespread, access to basic services poor, and inequality sky high. However, few would put this situation down to the government merely spending too little.

In education, housing and welfare, the ruling African National Congress has expanded expenditure but results have not always aligned with expectations.

According to a new report from the Boston Consulting Group, South Africa languishes at 138th out of 149 economies when it comes to converting its wealth into the wellbeing of citizens. Poor performances in health care, employment and income equality are noted, while results in education have been particularly disappointing.

"South Africa spends around $400 per capita on education, which is far beyond what any peer group does. For example Kenya, Ghana and even Cameroon spend less than $100 per capita and have far better outcomes that South Africa," says BCG's Adam Ikdal.

Given the acknowledgement that spending alone cannot help propel South Africa to a more prosperous future, this African...

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