South African Industrial Policy

Many of the programmes and policies designed by the DTI represent a major departure from the policy framework used by the previous government.The previous government was primarily concerned with ensuring that South Africa was self-sufficient for political and strategic reasons. Consequently, domestic industry was protected by high tariff barriers, the exchange rate was allowed to appreciate (thus discouraging manufactured exports) and assistance to industry took the form of demand-side interventions. This policy framework failed to create a dynamic manufactured goods sector and was not capable of creating a sufficient number of jobs to make a meaningful impact on unemployment. In addition, some of the programmes pursued under this particular brand of policy intervention were not compatible with the rules-based trading environment which is an essential part of today's global economy. The DTI acknowledged the shortcomings of previous policies and has put in place a set of coherent and integrated policies and programmes which are World Trade Organisation (WTO)-friendly and which will create the kinds of competitive, outward-oriented manufacturing sectors referred to in GEAR. The purpose of this document is to highlight these industrial policies and programmes and the context within which they have been developed.

  • Authors: Alan Hirsch and Stephen Hanival
  • Year: 1998
  • Organisation: Department of Trade & Industry
  • Publisher: DTI
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