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South African mining equipment and specialist services: Technological capacity, export performance and policy

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  • Kaplan, David
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    Abstract

    South Africa has developed a technologically sophisticated and globally competitive mining equipment and specialist services sector. The paper provides evidence for and measurement of technological competency and global competitiveness and a brief outline of why South Africa was successful in this regard. While there are significant prospects for future growth, there are, at the same time, a number of constraints and South Africa is becoming a less advantageous site for both production and for innovation. Current government policy does not address these constraints and the sector does not feature in government’s vision for industrial or technology development. An alternative approach is proposed whereby the constraints are addressed and the companies supplying the mining sector that have sophisticated technological competencies are encouraged to spread “laterally” into new products and new global markets. By way of conclusion, the importance of this sector in developing countries where mining plays a major role is outlined.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Resources Policy.

    Volume (Year): 37 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 425-433

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:37:y:2012:i:4:p:425-433

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30467

    Related research

    Keywords: Mining equipment specialist services; South Africa; Technological capacity; Export performance;

    References

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    1. Trajtenberg, M. & Bresnahan, T.F., 1992. "General Purpose Technologies: "Engines of Growth"," Papers 16-92, Tel Aviv.
    2. Upstill, Garrett & Hall, Peter, 2006. "Innovation in the minerals industry: Australia in a global context," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 137-145, September.
    3. Lydall, Marian, 2009. "Backward linkage development in the South African PGM industry: A case study," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 112-120, September.
    4. Easterly, William & Reshef, Ariell & Schwenkenberg, Julia, 2009. "The power of exports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5081, The World Bank.
    5. Walker, M.I. & Minnitt, R.C.A., 2006. "Understanding the dynamics and competitiveness of the South African minerals inputs cluster," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 12-26, March.
    6. Douglass C. North, 1955. "Location Theory and Regional Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 243.
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