THICK END OF THE WEDGE
PETER BRUCE: Skills transfer does not happen by magic
Skills transcend race and reforming our economy, if pursued with determination, would set transformation right on its own
Sometimes you have to repeat the obvious a thousand times in SA before it has any hope of being heard. Myths and magical thinking hold the high ground in our economic and industrial policy. We can create black industrialists. We can beneficiate our own minerals and manufacture exports the world craves. We can create labour-intensive industry and join the fourth industrial revolution at the same time. All we need to grow the economy is to transform it. None of the above will happen. Apart from the minerals we dig out of the ground, which we freight to our expensive ports and ship to customers who have been beneficiating for decades and already have the customers we think will fall into our lap, the dollar cost of our exports (other than processed fruits and foods and tourism, still hamstrung by insane visa regulations) is simply not competitive. The vehicles we export are heavily subsidised precisely to overcome the cost of labour. Even where a giant exporter like China has withdrawn...