Original Research

Can South Africa sustain and diversify its exports?

Marianne Matthee, Ernst Idsardi, Waldo Krugell
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 19, No 2 | a1324 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v19i2.1324 | © 2016 Marianne Matthee, Ernst Idsardi, Waldo Krugell | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 February 2015 | Published: 13 May 2016

About the author(s)

Marianne Matthee, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa
Ernst Idsardi, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa
Waldo Krugell, North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus), South Africa

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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine the diversification of South Africa’s exports over the period 1994 to 2012. A decomposition of export growth shows that exports of non-fuel primary commodities as well as medium-skill and technology-intensive manufactured products increased. The largest decrease was in the export of resource-intensive manufactures. These changes reflect South Africa’s endowment of relatively low levels of physical and human capital. The analysis shows that export products that are further from the country’s comparative advantage, make smaller contributions to growth in the intensive margin. It clearly shows the challenge of sustainably diversifying the export basket.

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Crossref Citations

1. Evaluating South Africa’s utilisation of sustained export potential in sub-Saharan Africa
Gabriel Mhonyera, Ermie Steenkamp, Marianne Matthee
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences  vol: 21  issue: 1  year: 2018  
doi: 10.4102/sajems.v21i1.1927