Searching for equality in our economy
Will South Africa ever be able to create an equal system based on fair distribution of assets, resources and wealth? During this online Leader’s Angle speakers Dr Armand Bam, Head of Social Impact at USB, and Dr Nthabiseng Moleko, Development Economist and senior lecturer at USB, visualised an inclusive, equal and sustainable path for growth in our country.
‘Manufacturing key driver of growth’
Dr Moleko said that manufacturing is a key driver of growth. “Manufacturing has shown itself to be a driver and engine for economic growth. South Africa, like other developing economies, can follow the growth and development path of the Asian tigers, which in three decades changed the face of unemployment, poverty and inequality,” she said.
“The focus on manufacturing is important because countries with larger manufacturing sectors tend to grow faster than those with smaller sectors, thus there is a faster pace of growth with South Africa’s low growth trajectory. We must accelerate the speed of growth,” she said.
Dr Moleko added that manufacturing has the ability to increase employment as the growth in the share of manufacturing rises. “It is also associated with higher income levels and this is a labour-intensive sector whose ability to reduce unemployment levels we are facing of over 10 million people out of work, we must emphasize a growth path that drives an equitable growth trajectory that includes previously excluded economic participants,” she said.
Contribution of NPOs
On the question on how NPOs missions intersect with both government and business strategies to deliver social justice and strengthen the economy, Dr Bam said: “Notwithstanding the contribution of NPOs to many developing African countries economies, little attention has been paid to how NPOs do their work as intermediaries, and this is especially true for South Africa.
“Quite simply put together with government and businesses NPOs actively develop the economy through skills and infrastructure development. They play multiple roles in partnership with government and business acting as community catalysts, community partners and, project implementation agents for disbursement of business resources or government grants,” he said.
“NPOs can deliver services where government and business cannot reach. They have direct contact with, and understanding of, the needs of recipients in a way that is superior to that of the donor. What we must also bear in mind is that the South African government purposefully uses the relationship to deliver services to citizens where government does not have capacity to do themselves,” Dr Bam added.
>> Watch the full recording here: