The Manufacturing Circle has unveiled a "realistic" game plan to arrest South Africa's "premature deindustrialisation" and create a million jobs over the next 10 years. "We can't afford to deindustrialise as an economy, especially with unemployment so high at 27.7%," says Philippa Rodseth, executive director at the industry body. Half a million manufacturing jobs have been lost over the past two decades, while the sector's contribution to the economy has slipped to less than 13% - well below the norm of about 30% for countries in similar stages of development, Rodseth says. "We decided that a stronger and concerted effort was required in order to put manufacturing on the map." To avoid becoming an ineffective "talk shop", the plan is to set up working groups consisting of stakeholders from industry, labour and the government. Ideally, each working group will have a set of objectives and targets to work towards each year. To co-ordinate the efforts of different departments, the Manuf...

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