Employment Promotion in a Minerals Economy

by ALTMAN, M., 2001
Journal of International Development, 13, pp. 1-19, 2001.

The SA economy can be characterized as a minerals economy, with a small market and low skill levels. Hence, most foreign investment is attracted to resource extraction, basic beneficiation or government-generated opportunities. There are many indications that SA suffers from the ‘resource curse’. The dominance of basic minerals and metals in SA’s export profile contributes to business cycle volatility, making it difficult for more employment-generating domestic market-oriented firms to expand. Altman considers how a resource-based economy must shift its competitive advantage so that the composition of its domestic production and export profile reflect a higher value added. She also discusses why and how is this relevant to employment generation.