HILARY JOFFE: Farming and mining - they're not sexy, but they do sustain us

They are areas where SA has a comparative advantage

14 March 2021 - 00:27 By Hilary Joffe

It was a week in which the official statistics confirmed that SA's economy shrank by a horrifying 7% last year, with agriculture and net exports among the only bright spots. It was also a week in which Proudly SA held a big "Buy SA" summit at which trade, industry & competition minister Ebrahim Patel spoke of growing manufacturing by buying local, in line with ambitions to cut imports by 20%, as outlined in President Cyril Ramaphosa's economic recovery plan. "Industrial revival is at the heart of our efforts to reignite economic growth," said Patel.

The juxtaposition made it one of those moments to wonder how often the focus is on the economy some wish we could have, rather than the one we actually have...

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