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A MILLION JOBS IN MANUFACTURING BY 2027 – A REALISTIC PLAN OR A PIPEDREAM

 

Johannesburg, 12 August 2018 – Can South Africa’s manufacturing sector create a million jobs by 2027 amidst a stagnant economy and the much-anticipated fourth industrial revolution, which is likely to result in further mechanization within the sector, and a possible influx of imported goods from China as it seeks new markets following the current  trade war with the US?

This question will take centre stage at the 2018 Southern African Metals and Engineering Indaba, which will take place at the IDC Conference Centre in Sandton on 20-21 September. Deliberating on this question and suggesting ways to make a million jobs target achievable will be Manufacturing Circle CEO Philippa Rodseth, SEIFSA Chief Economist Michael Ade, Highveld Structural Mill CEO Johan Burger and Department of Economic Development Deputy Director-General Zeph Nhleko.

Last year, the Manufacturing Circle launched its “Map to A Million New Jobs in a Decade” plan, with the organisation’s chairman André de Ruyter saying at the time: “If manufacturing can expand to 30% of GDP, between 800 000 and 1.1 million direct jobs can be created, with 5 to 8 times that number in indirect jobs,” he added. “Our ‘Map to a Million’ puts forward detailed proposals to deliver a million jobs in manufacturing in the next decade.”

In the past two decades, the manufacturing sector has shed half a million jobs. At just under 13%, it contributes less than half to GDP than is appropriate for South Africa’s stage of development…