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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Richard Calland, Director for CISL’s Africa Programme

8 May 2024 - Richard Calland, Director for CISL’s Africa Programme and visiting adjunct Professor at the Wits School of Governance, held a discussion with South Africa’s Trade & Industry Minister, Ebrahim Patel at an event to launch the country’s Industrial Policy and Strategy Review.

The Review maps the measures and actions of South African government over the past five years under the Reimagined Industrial Strategy laid out by President Cyril Ramaphosa and reflects on the evolution of policy actions since the African National Congress came to power in 1994.

Minister, Ebrahim Patel said:

“Industrial Policy is back globally and reshaping the economic landscape. Policy initiatives implemented in South Africa have shown significant gains in driving industrial outcomes. The new conditions require a strategic focus on aligning South Africa with the opportunities arising from the global green economic and technology revolutions, whilst strengthening economic integration on the African continent. Implementation requires agility in leadership and in state capability, as well as even deeper partnerships across government and with the private sector; all underpinned by an appropriate set of support measures.”

CISL’s Professor Richard Calland added:

“Industrial policy is critical to inclusive growth and has the potential to help shift South Africa and the region into a different, far more sustainable economic development pathway. Achieving the ambitious outcomes will require agile leadership across government and private sectors, with a willingness to share Minister Patel’s optimism and willingness to navigate complexity. As CISL’s Global Leadership Summit concluded in February: the state matters and matters greatly for sustainable development, recognizing that while private sector innovation is vital, policy and governance co-ordination, alignment and regulation is also needed to ensure the right blend of sticks and carrots.”

During the event Minister Ebrahim Patel revealed that between early 2020 and the third quarter of the following year, South Africa’s economy was rocked by two global and four local crises in rapid succession, estimating the cumulative output lost to the South African economy to be between 650 billion rand and 850 billion rand. Despite this, the economic growth rate has averaged 0.5% since 2020 and International Monetary Fund has projected that South Africa will become Africa’s biggest economy with a GDP of $373 billion.

The event also saw the the signing of an agreement between the multinational investment bank, Citibank, and the Industrial Development Corporation, which will see Citibank contributing R200 million into a fund to be managed by the IDC, providing grants to black industrialists in the Vaal Special Economic Zone.

Find out more about about CISL’s Africa Programme | Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


Zoe Kalus, Head of Media  

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