With a gross GDP of approximately R3.2trn ($390bn) as of year-end 2012, South Africa has the largest economy in Africa and the 28th largest globally. Industrial strife and policy uncertainty, however, have become key sources of investor concern of late. Recent years of slowing growth have failed to make much of a dent in structurally high unemployment and inequality, although a new government-endorsed development plan seeks to broaden inclusion and establish the foundations for higher-value-added growth. Despite significant downside risks, the development agenda laid out in the 2013 budget and other government policies are designed to steer both its economic planning and private sector investment for the next two decades.
This chapter contains interviews with Pravin Gordhan, Minister of Finance; and Rob Davies, Minister of Trade and Industry.