This chapter includes the following articles.
Industrial activity plays a central role in the South African economy, accounting for around 31.6% of GDP in 2011, and employing a large portion of the population in labour-intensive processes. Like many comparable economies, recent decades have seen the nation’s economic activity tilt away from traditional industry towards a more service-based economy. However, various plans are in place for sector expansion, aimed at the twin goals of national economic expansion and job creation. South Africa’s retail sector runs the spectrum of mercantile activity – from large chains with a multinational footprint to the informal spaza shops that provide household items to their neighbourhoods. The well-established trend of retail expansion in South Africa is expected to be maintained on the back of GDP growth that the IMF has forecast will average 3.6% between 2012 and 2016. However, some factors such as rising energy costs and consumer debt may act as a brake on the market. This chapter contains interviews with Geoffrey Qhena, CEO, Industrial Development Corporation (IDC); Raman Dhawan, Managing Director, Tata Africa; and Grant Pattison, Chief Executive Officer, Massmart Holdings.