Economy & Employment


To eliminate poverty and reduce inequality, South Africa has to raise levels of employment and, through productivity growth, the earnings of working people.

South Africa needs faster growth and more inclusive growth. Key elements of this strategy include raising exports, improving skills development, lowering the costs of living for the poor, investing in a competitive infrastructure, reducing the regulatory burden on small businesses, facilitating private investment and improving the performance of the labour market to reduce tension and ease access to young, unskilled work seekers.

Only through effective partnerships across society can a virtuous cycle of rising confidence, rising investment, higher employment, rising productivity and incomes be generated.

South Africa requires both a capable and developmental state, able to act to redress historical inequities and a vibrant and thriving private sector able to investment, employ people and penetrate global markets.


  • The unemployment rate should fall from 24.9 percent in June 2012 to 14 percent by 2020 and to 6 percent by 2030. This requires an additional 11 million jobs. Total employment should rise from 13 million to 24 million.
  • The proportion of adults working should increase from 41 percent to 61 percent.
  • The proportion of adults in rural areas working should rise from 29 percent to 40 percent.
  • The labour force participation rate should rise from 54 percent to 65 percent.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should increase by 2.7 times in real terms, requiring average annual GDP growth of 5.4 percent over the period. GDP per capita should increase from about from about R50 000 per person in 2010 to R110 000 per person in 2030 in constant prices.
  • The proportion of national income earned by the bottom 40 percent should rise from about
  • 6 percent today to 10 percent in 2030.
  • Broaden ownership of assets to historically disadvantaged groups.
  • ¤ Exports (as measured in volume terms) should grow by 6 percent a year to 2030 with non-traditional exports growing by
  • 10 percent a year.
  • ¤ Increase national savings from 16 percent
  • of GDP to 25 percent.
  • ¤ The level of gross fixed capital formation
  • should rise from 17 percent to 30 percent, with public sector fixed investment rising to 10 percent of GDP by 2030.
  • ¤ Public employment programmes should reach 1 million by 2015 and 2 million people by 2030.


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