Productivity and long term growth

Chapter 5: Sustainable growth in South Africa


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This chapter reviews the literature on the drivers of growth in South Africa. While growth has picked up since the mid-1990s, there are a number of impediments to faster, sustainable growth. These include uncertainty about physical capital investment and respect for property rights, market distortions that thwart competition in product markets and an excessively rigid labour code.

In addition, skills creation, credit and R&D activity remain too low. The fiscal space for more aggressive growth-promoting public expenditure has been reduced by the expansion of welfare payments.

A number of policy implications follow from the analysis, including a need for macroeconomic stability and for credible, transparent policies to address economic and social infrastructure bottlenecks, to maintain fiscal discipline in the face of pressures for further expansion in welfare payments, and to reform product and labour market regulations. Finally, action is also needed to improve the quality of education, create incentives for R&D activity, and improve the efficiency of the financial sector.

Source: South African Reserve Bank


This chapter was prepared by Johannes Fedderke

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Further reading:Back to main page


2010 Economic Survey of South Africa

2010 Economic Survey of China

2009 Economic Survey of Brazil

2008 Economic Assessment of Indonesia

2007 Economic Survey of India

More on OECD non-member countries




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