From The Report: South Africa 2014
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South Africa’s economy has come a long way since apartheid ended 20 years ago, with significant improvements in both productivity and capacity – and a GDP that is now 2.5 times larger – but domestic and exogenous pressures have taken their toll on GDP growth. Headline GDP grew by 1.9% in 2013, although its components fluctuated considerably in synch with labour unrest. Although strong by comparison to many members of the OECD – particularly the eurozone – GDP performance in 2013 was nonetheless the third-worst since the end of apartheid in 1994. The turbulence is expected to continue over the short term, although 2015 should show a stronger recovery. South Africa continues to benefit from a number of comparative advantages, such as a robust financial services industry, a strong private sector and well-maintained infrastructure, but with regular strikes, twin deficits and high levels of unemployment, the country’s performance since the onset of the global financial crisis has been lacklustre.

This chapter contains interviews with Nhlanhla Nene, Minister of Finance; Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry; and S’dumo Dlamini, President, Congress of South African Trade Unions; and a viewpoint from Clem Sunter, Scenario Planner and former Chairman of Gold and Uranium Division, Anglo American.