Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / Opinion / Econ3x3 RSS ← Back

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by


Embed Video

The National Development Plan and exports as a catalyst to generate employment growth: Can it work?

16th January 2013

By: Econ3x3


Font size: -+

  • The National Development Plan and exports as a catalyst to generate employment growth: Can it work?
    0.08 MB
Sponsored by

The National Development Plan (NDP) is an ambitious initiative to address a range of social and economic issues. Topping the list are high unemployment, poverty and low economic growth. The plan sets out a roadmap to 2030. How realistic and achievable is the plan?

With unemployment at roughly 25% in 2010, the NDP aims to put policies in place so that by 2030 unemployment will decrease to 6% while the labour force participation rate will increase from 54% to 65%. This means that employment needs to increase from 13 million to 24 million people – an 11 million, or roughly 85%, increase in employment over the eighteen year period.


The goal is for GDP to grow by 5.4% per annum, meaning that by 2030 the economy will be 2.7 times its size in 2010. This will imply a per capita GDP increase from R50 000 to R110 000, lifting most, if not all, out of poverty. The national saving rate is set to increase from 16% to 25%, while investment is set to increase from 17% to 30% of GDP. Therefore, by 2030 the saving-investment gap is projected to increase from roughly 1% per annum, to 5% per annum.

That gap needs to be financed from external sources. Exports are projected to increase by 6% per annum, which in turn is projected to increase income and thus saving out of income. However, a saving-investment gap of 5% of GDP means that, in order to finance that gap and balance the national accounts (given the sectoral balance identities), it will have to be matched by a current account deficit (imports increasing more than exports). That the plan will result in a rather large current account deficit is not recognised or mentioned in the NDP document, though.


Download the full article above.

Written by Philippe Burger, Professor of Economics and Head of Department, University of the Free State

This article was first published on the Econ3x3 website – Accessible policy-relevant research and expert commentaries on unemployment and employment, income distribution and inclusive growth in South Africa.


To subscribe email or click here
To advertise email or click here

Comment Guidelines

About is a product of Creamer Media.

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more


We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store


Advertising on is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now