2030 Horizon Scanning in South Africa: Domestic Economy

by ALTMAN, M., 2007
Human Sciences Research Council report, presented at the DFID/Human Sciences Research Council Horizon Scanning in South Africa workshop, October 2007

Unemployment and poverty are among the central uncertainties facing the South African economy. Creating market-based jobs is the most sustainable way of addressing these problems. The Human Sciences Research Council generated scenarios for job creation to 2024, based on GDP growth rates of 3%, 4.5% and 6%. It projects that if the economy grew by 3% per year, unemployment would rise, while a growth rate of 4.5% would see unemployment edging down. If the economy grew by 6% per year on a labour-absorptive path, the unemployment problem would no longer be a top priority by 2030. Success in dramatically reducing unemployment would depend on the ability to raise the GDP growth rate and on the character of that growth. A 6% growth rate would require a dramatic expansion of non-traditional goods and services tradables. In turn, this would require rapid and effective improvements in network infrastructure, stable real exchange rates, R&D in newer activities, efficiency improvements, and better market access, especially for services.