Manufacturing - [Google Images]

Despite renewed optimism in the South African economy, it would seem like the manufacturing market isn’t improving any time soon.

Mike Schussler of shared data of SA’s ten-year manufacturing performance earlier this week. Compared to where we should be, the country is way off of the pace. Trading Economics also added context to the bleak picture.

According to the publication, manufacturing production in South Africa fell 1.3% year-on-year in March of 2018, following a downwardly-revised 0.5% gain in the previous month and well below market expectations of a 1% rise.

This was the first drop in production since September 2017. Iron & steel and metal & machinery were hit hard and recorded a 1.7% decrease in manufactured goods.



Schussler’s research showed that South Africa is operating at 7.4% less of its manufacturing output in 2008. These figures are even more alarming when compared to what other “emerging markets” look like ten years on.


The average growth for these burgeoning fiscal nations is 51.7%. Not only is South Africa way off the pace in this industry, but it’s going backwards:



Schussler explains that this economic own goal is putting the brakes on South Africa’s development potential. He believes that had the country stayed on course with manufacturing growth, there’d be nearly 600 000 more jobs available:


“One would expect that a developing country like SA would catch up and surpass the growth of the developed countries. This has not really happened in over a decade.”

“If we grew at a similar rate of the average emerging market, industrial production for South African manufacturing would be at a level that is 63.6% higher.”

“For instance, if we grew jobs a little slower than at, say, 50% – as one wants productivity growth as well – The country would have 587 000 more manufacturing jobs.”


The chief cited “unnecessary red tape” and “the electricity crisis” for severely denting South Africa’s production output. Whatever the reason, industry chiefs are certainly concerned by this underperformance.