Boosting productivity to improve living standards in South Africa

Productivity growth has been falling for a decade, hindering improvements in living standards. Low productivity reflects, firstly, poor infrastructure in telecommunications and transport. Secondly, the regulatory environment is not always business-friendly and often raises obstacles to firm entry, exit and expansion. Combined with weak competition in important sectors, this has led to lower private investment levels, particularly, business R&D. Finally, the educational and health care systems have been unable to supply adequately skilled workers across the country. To improve productivity, public investment needs to become more effective, notably by strengthening the selection process for large infrastructure projects. A more pro-competitive business environment would let productive firms grow and foster innovation. Widening and reducing inequalities in access to education and health care would reduce skill shortages.

Published on December 22, 2022

In series:OECD Economics Department Working Papersview more titles