SA economy at the crossroads

Nthabisang Moreosele

Nthabisang Moreosele

The Development Bank of South Africa has unveiled four scenarios for the future of South Africa. The report about the way forward is compiled every two years.

The four all have downsides because of the education and skills backlog in the country .

The economy is also suffering from bottlenecks in core infrastructure, Ravi Naidoo, DBSA group executive for research and information said.

This was a by-product of neglecting to develop infrastructure in the old Bantustans and under-investment in key programmes, for example, Eskom.

If South Africa were to go full steam ahead in growing the economy, it would reduce the rich-poor divide and there would be a pro-poor growth economy.

It would eradicate poverty and create jobs.

The second scenario, called riding steady on the local train, would be about social progress and be pro-poor but would lead to economic stagnation.

Coming off the tracks is the third scenario, which would be pro-rich and expand the difference between the rich and poor since it would allow free market forces to reign.

The fourth scenario, derailed, would lead to economic stagnation and increased poverty.

The Government needed to build infrastructure to create growth in the energy, transport, ICT and water sectors, the report said.

All these have shown marked growth and with the government pumping money into them much would depend on the capacity of municipalities to deliver.

Marie Kirsten, project manager of the report, pointed out that scarce skills would hamper speedy economic growth and these might have to be imported.

But the government was addressing the need for education and skills growth.