Improving Manufacturing Performance in South Africa: A Contrary View

That the growth performance of South African manufacturing industry has deteriorated markedly since the mid- 1970s, and that a major improvement in the performance of this sector is essential for sustained recovery of the economy as a whole, is generally acknowledged. The question of the causes of the deterioration in the performance of manufacturing industry in South Africa, and the requirements for a substantial improvement, however, is much more debatable. The recently published report on of the Industrial Strategy Project (1995) (written by four academics - Avril Joffe, David Kaplan, Raphael Kaplinsky and David Lewis), represents a major attempt to address this important question. The present review article is devoted entirely to consideration of the analytical and policy issues raised by the ISP report. Central to the Report are its views on the productivity growth performance of South African manufacturing industry, which largely determine the ISP's perspective on the causes of the problems of the sector, and how they should be overcome. Identification of the determinants of manufacturing productivity growth is one of the exercises included in this paper, as is a discussion of the author's views on the problems experienced by the manufacturing sector.�Â� The paper also surveys future prospects for manufacturing in South Africa.

  • Authors: Trevor Bell
  • Year: 1998
  • Organisation: n/a
  • Publisher: Transformation 28
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