Annual Forum Papers

Session 2: Regional integration and SADC

The study investigates the productivity and income convergence implications of bilateral FDI between South Africa as the leading source country of FDI and technology in SADC and the rest of countries in the region. Using country per capita income data over the period from 1980 to 2011, we find evidence suggesting that countries with high levels of bilateral FDI between themselves and South Africa converge faster both on the region average income and on South Africa's per capita income than those with low bilateral FDI stocks. The finding is robust in estimating countries' income gaps to South Africa conditioned on alternative potential sources of technology and productivity growth, including trade, FDI from the rest of the world and domestic capital formation. This implies that there are prospects of technology and income convergence in the SADC region driven by South Africa as the regional economic leader.

  • Year 2015
  • Organisation Paul J Dunn (SALDRU, University of Cape Town); Nicholas Masiyandima (University of Cape Town)
  • Publication Author(s) Paul J Dunn; Nicholas Masiyandima
  • Countries and Regions South Africa, Southern African Development Community (SADC)

South Africa has embarked on a drive to attract private investment in ports, with the objective of not only acquiring investments but also as a means to build up local expertise and develop capacity. Due to its strong regulatory and legislative framework, as well solid entrepreneurial culture, South Africa has an advantage compared to many other African countries in attracting private investors. This policy brief explores why there is not more private investment in South Africa's ports and make recommendations on how to increase this. 

Author: Wendy Nyakabawo, TIPS Intern, based on a presentation by Dr Sheila Farrell of Sheila Farrell Associates Ltd and Imperial College London

  • Year 2013
  • Publication Author(s) Wendy Nyakabawo
Published in Policy Briefs

The research process underpinning this article was focused on casting some light on factors influencing the way in which developing countries can enhance linkages between Transnational Corporation (TNC) Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) firms and domestic small and medium enterprises (SMEs). It sought to do this through identifying the major lessons from SME-TNC linkage programmes from three South African Development Community (SADC) case studies: Mozambique and the Mozal aluminium smelter; Lesotho and the clothing and textile investment related to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA); and South Africa's experience with SME suppliers and Toyota. The process of securing developmental impacts from FDI for developing countries has been a considerable challenge for many countries and has become a greater imperative in a context of relative declines in official development assistance in the past decade. Other authors have explained how FDI can compensate for domestic savings shortfalls and reduce BOP imbalances. This study tries to explore some ways in which FDI can contribute to lasting structural change in developing country production and productivity dynamics.

  • Year 2008
  • Publication Author(s) Glen Robbins, Likani Lebani and Mike Rogan

Since 1994 the South African government has identified poverty alleviation as a key policy goal. This objective was formulated under the auspices of the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) policy which has arguably had limited success (Hassan, 2001). In 2004 the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (AsgiSA) was formed to build on previous economic growth initiatives and it set a target of 4.5% mean growth over the 2004-2009 period (AsgiSA, 2007). AsgiSA also has the task of meeting the government’s pledged target of halving both unemployment and poverty by 2014 (HSRC, 2008). The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation’ (JPOI) adopted at the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 (GSSD, 2006) has set its goals in alignment with AsgiSA. The JPOI was tasked with helping developing countries face the challenges of sustainable development, namely poverty, inequality and environmental degradation (JPOI Response Strategy, 2003). It also, “highlights access to energy as central to facilitating poverty eradication.” (Vera, et al., 2005: 156).

The achievement of equity within a generation rather than across generations is an ambitious, but vital component of sustainable development (Hanley, et al., 1997: 425) and Winkler (2006: 9) states that, ‘ecological sustainability [can] not be achieved if poverty was not addressed.’ Although there is no consensus on how to define sustainable development or on how to apply it, there is general agreement that sustainable development has three broad dimensions – economic, social and environmental (Winkler, 2006: 9). Poverty eradication becomes central to sustainable development policies and developing useful and reliable poverty indicators is part of this process.

The lack of energy provision pervades all aspects of poverty: shelter, food, health and health services, education and security, and many other elements of well-being also rely heavily on energy provision (Pauchari, et al., 2004; Kemmler and Spreng, 2007). And whilst, “low energy consumption is not the cause of is an indicator for many of its elements, such as poor education, bad health care, the hardship imposed on women and children” (Goldemberg and Johansson, 1995).

The link between poverty and energy provision seems indisputable as evidence emerges repeatedly from much of the current economic development literature. Amongst others, Toman and Jemelkova (2002) describe, how “…energy availability can augment the productivity of industrial labor in the formal and informal sectors.” (Winkler, et al., 2007: 11).

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as laid out in the United Nation’s Millennium Declaration echoes the same sentiments. However, despite the strong link between energy provision and poverty eradication the United Nation’s Millennium Declaration, does not stipulate specific targets for energy services. Yet it is recognised that “modern energy services are an essential element enabling a country to meet these goals, [although] it has been difficult to establish quantitative causal relationships between energy and progress toward the MDGs.” (Modi, et al., 2006: 38)

The International Energy Agency (IEA) highlights that with prosperity comes demand not only for more, but also for better quality energy (IEA, 2004). It asserts that the absolute amount of energy used per capita and the share of modern energy services (especially electricity) are key contributors to human development and the target of halving the number of people living on less than $1 a day by 2015 is unlikely to be achieved unless access to electricity can be provided to another half-a-billion people. IEA maintains that developing countries need to improve the availability and affordability of commercial energy to especially rural communities in order to alleviate energy poverty and human underdevelopment.

There are a number of reasons for considering commercial energy. Unless the use of natural resources for energy purposes is monitored and curtailed, “there is danger of these resources getting rapidly depleted leading to grave long term consequences” WWF (2003: 2).

Another important aspect regarding the relationship between energy use and poverty is that the real per unit costs of alternative fuels used by poorer households are higher relative to those used in wealthier households that are linked to the national grid (Brook & BesantJones, 2000: 2). Collecting fuel wood generates high opportunity costs through lost education, the high toll on the environment and the health of the poor. “Energy services such as lighting, cooking, refrigeration, and power for electronics and motive force are provided most cheaply and conveniently, and with the least local pollution, when they are derived from electricity or gas delivered through networks. Moving from traditional to modern fuels can thus dramatically raise the effective incomes of low-income households.” (Brook & Besant-Jones, 2000: 3).

South Africa faces similar challenges to many developing countries and given that poverty alleviation is one of the most pressing goals for South Africa, the link between poverty and energy use must be made clearly. Indeed, attention to energy provision, not just in rural communities but also in poverty stricken urban areas is paramount (Parnell, 2004) and results below demonstrate this. Clear and reliable indicators of energy-poverty will facilitate the formulation of energy provision strategies.

In section one we review the current state of poverty measurement in South Africa and the extent to which the authorities acknowledge (or not) the importance of energy provision as a poverty alleviation strategy. This includes examining trends in social development and some notable South African studies on poverty and poverty alleviation. Section two attempts to define good poverty indicators and to pose energy based poverty indicators against these criteria. Section three identifies some of the weaknesses of current money-metric indicators of poverty and examines the case in favour of using energy-based indicators, not necessarily as a replacement but as a complement to current usage and research. Section four outlines our methodology, and section five presents our results.

  • Year 2008
  • Organisation TIPS
  • Publication Author(s) Claire Vermaak; Marcel Kohler; Dr Bruce Rhodes
  • Countries and Regions South Africa

South Africa's low investment rate has been widely recognised as both a symptom and cause of relatively poor industrial performance in the past decade. Investment is particularly important as restructuring requires the rapid growth of new activities if potential gains are to be realised, especially with a view to increasing employment and a more diversified industrial base. The IDC played a crucial role in shaping the apartheid economy, and has an equally important role to play in addressing the apartheid industrial legacy and the fundamental transformation of the economy. This transformation includes both broad-based growth and employment generation, and black economic empowerment.

The paper reviews the rationale for development finance for industry in light of recent debates on the importance of investment. It then evaluates the role of the IDC over the past decade with specific reference to the patterns of financing and the changing structure of the South African economy. In addition, the appraisal addresses the role of the IDC in industrial policy formulation and implementation with specific reference to recent developments.

  • Year 2005
  • Countries and Regions South Africa

In this paper we aim at identifying the determinants of South African currency premia in order to assess the scope of South African economic policies to narrow the spread on local-currency denominated debt. South Africa is one among very few emerging economies able to borrow long-term abroad in its own currency and one of the few that has developed its domestic bond market fairly well. However, allowing for the heightened and increasing instability in the nominal exchange rate of the rand over the last years, this fortunate specificity may fade away: local-currency denominated issues might become more expensive and less liquid overtime. Therefore, a key policy issue is how South African monetary policy may influence exchange rate determination and how it can be instrumental in stabilising expectations about the course of the rand, thus bringing down local-currency denominated debt costs. Moreover, lower debt costs are of utmost importance in boosting investment and future output growth. Using high frequency data and resorting to volatility modelling, we carry out an empirical analysis of the determinants of the 1-month and 1-year currency premia. Among these determinants, the South African Reserve Bank's Net Open Forward Book and the misalignment of the real effective exchange rate stand out. We also control for global risk aversion, the dollar price of gold, idiosyncratic and regional political shocks as well as other shifts in monetary policy, like the inflation targeting regime set up in early 2000.

  • Year 2003
  • Publication Author(s) Martin Grandes; Nicolas Pinaud; Marcel Peter
  • Countries and Regions South Africa

A close look at the specific causes of domestic and foreign private investment in the SADC countries is needed. This paper has the aim to look especially at those factors that are under direct control of governments like infrastructure and regional integration and where decisions have to be made in the coming years. In the existing literature on the determinants of investment these aspects haven't been investigated in detail. Therefore this paper focuses on the effects of deepening regional integration and improvement of infrastructure. It covers domestic as well as foreign investment and identifies policy measures for improving the attraction of investment by focusing on investment determinants that are under control of the SADC governments. Only if effects of FDI under specific circumstances are well understood investment policies can be designed that will attract investment in those sectors that can bring the highest benefits to the country and increase the potential for sustainable growth.

  • Year 2002
  • Publication Author(s) Susanna Wolf
  • Countries and Regions Southern African Development Community (SADC)

To increase investment both foreign and domestic is one of the aims of the South African Development Community (SADC). Although investment in SADC is still lower than in industrial countries or emerging markets it is higher than for the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. Whereas the main determinants of investment like macroeconomic and political stability, availability of natural resources and low production costs are well investigated the role of regional integration for attracting investment is still not very well established. Regional integration could enhance investment through various channels like larger markets and improved cross-border infrastructure. The results of a panel regression analysis show that the regulatory quality in the economy in general as well as independent regulation of the telecom sector can help to attract FDI. However for domestic investment the level of industrialisation the financial development and GDP p.c. growth seem to play a bigger role. Membership in SADC only plays a role for FDI, but no effect of the market size of regional groupings could be found.

  • Year 2002
  • Publication Author(s) Susan Wolf
  • Countries and Regions Southern African Development Community (SADC)

This paper examines the relation between the institutional structures of advanced OECD countries and the comparative growth and investment of 27 industries in those countries over the period 1970 to 1995. The underlying thesis that the paper examines is that there is a matching between the institutional structures of countries and the characteristics of industries, which is reflected in the comparative growth and investment of industries in different countries. We find support for this hypothesis and report that the marked differences in institutional structure that exist across advanced countries are associated with comparative growth and investment of different industries. Consistent with theory, we find that relations between institutional structures and investment differ between fixed investment and research and development, and that relations between institutions and growth are sensitive to the relative degree of development of countries.

  • Year 2001
  • Organisation University College London and Saïd Business School...
  • Publication Author(s) Wendy Carlin;Colin Mayer

Low investment levels in the South African economy are consistently identified as the principal factor behind suboptimal growth rates. Despite the increasing recognition of the importance of investment there is relatively little analytical research available in South Africa on the determinants of investment behaviour, specifically at the sectoral level.

It is therefore of primary importance that empirically based research should attempt to examine those variables that may influence investment spending. Economic theory identifies these variables but empirical research can be used to determine the extent to which microeconomic and macroeconomic variables affect investment behaviour. In addition, variables overlooked in past studies in the South African literature such as uncertainty and instability should be included in any empirical research. This is particularly important given the current evidence that indicates these variables have a considerable influence on investment in the developing world, including South Africa. This report describes the results of an EU funded research project that focuses on the determinants of investment in South African manufacturing based on time series analysis at the sectoral level. The report contains 7 sections.

  • Year 2000
  • Organisation TIPS
  • Publication Author(s) TIPS
  • Countries and Regions South Africa

This paper examines how distributive outcomes and unresolved distributive conflicts affect the rate of productive investment and what the implications are for the level of joblessness people face in South Africa. The link between investment and employment is developed within a context of "Keynesian" and "classical" unemployment. Using time-series and cross-sectional data, estimates of the relative importance of different determinants of the rate of investment in South Africa show strong robust effects from profit rates, economic growth, and the degree of social and political conflict. The results support the argument that both distributive outcomes and distributive conflicts are important influences on the rate investment. A short discussion of policy implications concludes the paper.

  • Year 2000
  • Publication Author(s) James Heintz

  • Year 1997
  • Publication Author(s) Kennedy Mbekeani