Minister Rob Davies: latest Ipap key to inclusive growth

Rob Davies (pictured), Trade and Industry Minister, speaking at a recent Cape Town launch of the latest Industrial policy action plan (Ipap), said there is a pressing need for South Africa to break away from a commodity-dependent economy, and that economic growth should not be based on unsustainable models. Davies further noted that there should be a move to a more diversified base in which employment creation and export-intensity, among other things, define South Africa’s growth trajectory. Davies said:

"Inclusive growth cannot be achieved by sticking to an imbalanced and unsustainable economic model based on the service sectors growing at twice the rate of the productive sectors, on the back of credit-fuelled consumption and import-intensity... Especially in tough times, there can be no retreat from Industrial Policy. It must be strengthened, deepened and embraced by all the social partners."

Key areas of the new plan, according to Davies, are growing exports, opening up space for more streamlined and business-friendly governance processes, and the introduction of a medium-term plan to ensure gas-based industrialisation develops into a backbone of SA's industrial strategy. Leveraging the devaluation of the rand to make locally manufactured products more globally competitive is another crucial area, he added.

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