Mapping out how manufacturing can mend SA’s economy
Industries in South Africa need to make bold choices about what must be done to drive industrialisation and create jobs, writes André de Ruyter
SA is at the crossroads. After more than two decades of democracy and the failure of well-intentioned economic policy to lift the majority of the country’s people out of poverty, something radical needs to be done to create jobs and grow the economy. We need to align the nation towards a common goal of creating jobs, and ensure we don’t expend our limited resources on unnecessary distractions. We need a focused war on unemployment to give those citizens still excluded from the economy the dignity and security of a decent job. Manufacturing, with its strong multiplier effects on value addition, job creation, export earnings and revenue generation, is the one sector in the economy that has the potential to create these jobs. But its positive contribution is under threat and declining. Since the 2008-09 financial crisis, when almost 400,000 South African manufacturing jobs were lost, the industry has not been able to recover to those levels and we now have 300,000 fewer jobs in the sec...