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Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: A contribution towards a growth agenda for the South African economy

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Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: A contribution towards a growth agenda for the South African economy

6th November 2019

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  • Economic transformation, inclusive growth, and competitiveness: A contribution towards a growth agenda for the South African economy
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The combination of low growth and rising unemployment means that South Africa’s economic trajectory is unsustainable. Government should implement a series of growth reforms that promote economic transformation, support labour-intensive growth, and create a globally competitive economy.

Government has a macroeconomic framework that is designed to ensure stability and competitiveness. In light of our competitiveness challenges, we start by highlighting five fundamental building blocks of sustainable long-run growth and then identify a series of specific and detailed reforms to raise potential growth.

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These growth reforms are organized according to the following themes: (i) modernizing network industries; (ii) lowering barriers to entry and addressing distorted patterns of ownership through increased competition and small business growth; (iii) prioritizing labour-intensive growth in sectors such as agriculture and services, including tourism; (iv) implementing focused and flexible industrial and trade policy; and (v) promoting export competitiveness and harnessing regional growth opportunities.

We estimate the economy-wide impact of the proposed interventions over time based on when they can realistically be implemented, and find they can raise potential growth by an additional 2,3 percentage points (above the baseline) and create over one million additional job opportunities.

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Report by the Economic Policy Division, National Treasury

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