A WEE DRAM
CHRIS GILMOUR: Connected product manufacturing holds the key to higher employment
The country can escape from its low-growth trap by concentrating on what it is good at in the manufacturing sector
SA has been stuck in a long-run low economic growth graph for way too long. While China’s average annual GDP growth since 2000 has been around 9%, India has enjoyed 5%, South Korea 4%, Indonesia and Malaysia around 3.5% each, Turkey 3%, the Philippines 2.5% and Brazil just more than 1%. SA’s has been less than 1% for three decades. However, the country can escape from its low-growth trap by concentrating on what it is good at in the manufacturing sector, rather than slavishly trying to achieve consumer-led economic growth. Low economic growth is usually accompanied by high unemployment, and SA has the highest persistent rate of unemployment in the world. On a narrow measure it is around 27% and on a broader measure, which includes disillusioned people who have given up job-seeking, it is closer to 40%. Unemployment can be reduced significantly and to draw comfort one only need look at the recent example of Spain, where the unemployment rate has fallen from around 25% in 2013 to the ...