South Africa is sitting at an economic crossroad. The National Development Plan proposes many measures to accelerate economic growth and deal with the country’s rising social problems. The majority of these are based on the assumption of a reasonably healthy economy.
There is a problem however. Since the introduction – and acceptance of the NDP as South Africa’s new economic blueprint – the country’s growth rate is hovering at 1.4%. That’s far below the minimum 5.4% that the NDP calls for over the next fifteen years. Unemployment has risen to its highest levels, 25.6% under the strict definition and, according to Statistics SA, 16 million people are expected to draw social benefits over the next year at a cost of 60% of government spending. South Africa needs an economic ecosystem that is designed to support market-driven inclusive growth, provide quality jobs, rapid skills development, innovation, increased productive output and better means to compete in a global economy.