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That the SA economy has performed quite as poorly as it has in recent years is not easily explained. The rate of growth of less than 2% a year represents a very poor outcome with, alas, little prospect of any lift-off, according to the economic forecasters in and outside government. Yet there are more corrupt economies with much less of an endowment of capital and skills that grow faster.

Fixed capital formation and employment offered by private businesses is at best in a holding pattern — capital formation being maintained at levels first reached in 2008. Capital formation by the public sector is in sharp decline — necessarily so given past performance. The unwillingness of SA business to invest in future output and income generation and in their workforces describes slow growth but does not explain its causes. Such reluctance needs to be understood and addressed if the outlook for the economy is to improve...

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