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SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Explain the theory of political economy 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
258100  Explain the theory of political economy 
ORIGINATOR
Task Team - Trade Unions 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 05 - Education, Training and Development Adult Learning 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 6  Level TBA: Pre-2009 was L6  20 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
Learners credited with this Unit Standard will obtain a deeper theoretical understanding of the main concepts of economics and the evolution of various economic systems as propounded by their theorists. They will also understand how contemporary economic systems have shaped modern society, especially in South Africa. In addition, they will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the concept of historical materialism and the transformational value of Marxism.

Learners credited with this Unit Standard will be capable of:
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the origins and differences in economic theories.
  • Explaining the labour theory of value.
  • Explaining the link between economics and social structures.
  • Describing the various economic systems.
  • Explaining the ideology of Neo-liberalism.
  • Demonstrating an understanding of the structure of the South African economy. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners be competent in the following:
  • Communication at NQF Level 4 or equivalent.
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 4 or equivalent. 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    N/A 

    Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the origins and differences in economic theories. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Theorists include and refer to Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Keynes and Neo-liberalism. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Key assumptions/concepts/ideas of the different theories are explained to obtain a broad overview of the theories. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The different economic theories are described and compared in terms of their strengths and weaknesses. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The evolution of the different theories in their historical contexts are analysed and explained to assess how people, trade unions and other organs responded to capital. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Organs include political organisations, working class formations.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Explain the labour theory of value. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The concept of surplus value as derived by Marx is explained with examples. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The role and value of labour in the production process is explained with reference to the cycle of capital. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The exploitation of labour as a commodity by capital is explored in terms of the impact on workers and the benefits to capital. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The use of the labour theory of value to explain crises in capitalism is explained when examining the different phases of capital in history. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Explain the link between economics and social structures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The concept of production relations is explained in terms of the way in which these relations have shaped society historically. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The way in which the social production of workers is privately appropriated under capitalism is described with reference to the division of labour and private ownership of the means of production. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The role of the state and the market in the reproduction of social relations is explained to show how these elements interact within the capitalist system. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Describe various economic systems. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Economic systems include but are not limited to socialism, capitalism and various forms of the mixed economy. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The way in which various economic systems are linked to different theories is explained to assess the relevance of theories in terms of explaining society. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The main features of each economic systems are described to make a comparison between the systems possible. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The nature of the state during the evolution from feudalism, capitalism to socialism is contextualised and discussed to show how the state responded to these systems. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Different national economic systems are analysed and compared in order to show how they operate and are managed. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    The analysis ought to include resource distribution, allocation of economic benefits and ownership patterns.
     

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Explain the ideology of Neo-liberalism. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The origin and the context of neo-liberalism are described in terms of being a response to the crisis in capitalism. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The policies asserted by neo-liberal theorists are described and critiqued in terms of the movement's global impact. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    The institutions associated with the neo-liberal doctrine are identified and analysed to assess their impact on society. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The socio-economic impact of neo-liberal policies on poor countries are assessed to gauge whether they have benefited or disadvantaged those countries. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    The impact of neo-liberal policies on workers nationally and internationally is evaluated in relation to the impact of socialist/Marxist policies on workers. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 6 
    Analyse the structure of the South African economy in relation to inequalities and exploitation. 
    OUTCOME RANGE 
    Inequalities include but are not limited to social, gender and racial inequality, unfair distribution of power and resources in South African society. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    The key economic sectors that constitute the South African economy are described in terms of their role and impact on the economy. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Impact includes Gross Domestic Product (GDP), number of jobs created, balance of trade and foreign exchange.
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    The impact of globalisation on South African economy is assessed and compared with other countries with a similar economy. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Key policies and features of the South African economy are described in terms of their advantages and disadvantages for workers. 
    ASSESSMENT CRITERION RANGE 
    Key policies and feature includes but are not limited to Growth, Employment and Redistribution Strategy (GEAR), Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP), Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (ASGISA), Joint Initiative on Priority Skills Acquisition (JIPSA).
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    The labour theory of value is used to analyse the condition of workers in South Africa. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Power relations in a society, workplace or household are explained in terms of how they perpetuate exploitation and inequalities. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Use concepts of political economy to motivate workers to engage with socio-economic inequalities. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • Assessment and moderation of assessment will be overseen by the relevant ETQA according to the ETQA policies and guidelines for assessment and moderation.
  • Internal and external moderation should encompass achievement of competence described in this Unit Standard as well as the integrated competence described in the Exit Level Outcome of the Qualification. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Economic theorists: Keynes, Adam Smith, Ricardo, Marx, Neo-liberalism.
  • Economic concepts: Labour theory of value.
  • Economic systems: Socialism, capitalism, various forms of the mixed economy.
  • South African economic policies, key sectors.
  • Globalisation. 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    N/A 

    UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Identify and solve problems in which responses display that responsible decisions using critical and creative thinking have been made when:
  • Comparing economic theories and systems. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information to:
  • Understand and interpret economic theories.
  • Distinguish between different theorists.
  • Understand the key features of the South African economy. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Demonstrate an understanding of the world as a set of related systems by recognising that the problem-solving contexts do not exist in isolation when engaging with the aspects of globalisation and its impact on the South African economy and on other economies of the world. 

    UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    N/A 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Fundamental  63369   National Diploma: Trade Union Practice  Level 5  NQF Level 05  Passed the End Date -
    Status was "Reregistered" 
    2020-07-30  ETDP SETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    NONE 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.