A blueprint for the rejuvenation of the South African economy – Manufacturing sector input – Part 2

The Inclusive Society Institute has embarked on an extensive economic research project, which will culminate in a comprehensive ‘Blueprint for rejuvenating South Africa’s economy’. The methodology includes a series of dialogues with various sectoral stakeholders and policymakers. These dialogues each have two parts to them: (i) Gaining an understanding from the particular sectors perspective as to what the country needs to correct policy wise, and (ii) what new initiatives / policies should be introduced to shift the economy onto a higher growth trajectory.

This dialogue formed the 2nd part of the manufacturing sector engagement.

A number of initiatives were proposed, amongst others:

  • The primary steel manufacturing needed to be more competitive, either through the improvement of the existing and/or the introduction of new investors with more efficient technology. Old and inefficient technology should not be protected via protective duties.

  • As regards the steel industry, where protective duties are currently in place, whilst the local producer seemingly has an inability to provide sufficient product, proposals for a USA-type exemption system was proposed. Similarly, the current basket-price mechanism has to be revisited.

  • On protection mechanisms: One cannot protect the primary producer, without protecting the downstream industries.

  • A number of examples for the removal of red-tape and the labour law overhaul were made.

  • Revitalise the previous rural industrial development parks, also considering the past-incentivisation mechanisms.

  • Greater efforts on stimulating demand, with special emphasis on creating markets beyond the local. Local markets are too small. Products need to be geared to be internationally viable.