Trajectories for South African Industrial Policy and the Developmental State in South Africa

The focus of this paper is on industrial policy, an area that has been neglected not only in the discussion document mentioned, but also in the overall policy direction of the democratic dispensation. It argues that the economic policies of post-1994 South Africa must be undertaken in the context of one overarching policy, which in the case of the East Asian countries was an industrial policy. Secondly, it presents a discussion of the developmental state, the main driver of the Asian economic success. Although the role of the developmental state is recognised in the discussion document, only passing reference is made to it, as with most post-1994 policy proposals and subsequent policies. At best, the developmental state is discussed only in terms of its objectives,. No attempt is made to understand the institutional characteristics that were the defining elements of East Asian states. Thus, if South Africa is to learn lessons from the Asian experience in particular, there is a need to focus on the institutional dimension of the developmental state. This paper attempts to provide a definition of industrial policy and its core characteristics, outlining the role and character of the democratic developmental state accordingly.

  • Authors: Omano Edigheji
  • Year: 2005
  • Organisation: Centre for Policy Studies
  • Publisher: SARPN
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