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The minerals-energy complex and South African industrialisation

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  • Trevor Bell
  • Greg Farrell

Abstract

In their recent book Fine & Rustomjee argue that the minerals-energy complex (MEC) as a system of accumulation had a determining and retarding effect on South African industrialisation. The evidence on the share of the MEC sectors in the GDP does not support the contention that the MEC as a system of accumulation has effectively increased the economy's dependence on these sectors. Statistical evidence contradicts Fine & Rustomjee s view that South Africa's import-substituting industrialisation did not move from consumption goods to intermediate and then to capital goods, but in the opposite direction. There is no historical evidence to support the contention that the MEC as a system of accumulation prevented diversification of manufacturing industry and thus retarded industrialisation. Manufacturing industry did diversify both between the wars and in the postwar period. It is suggested that state-promoted developments in MEC manufacturing sectors represented important and necessary steps towards full-scale industrialisation, which began in South Africa between the wars.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Development Southern Africa.

Volume (Year): 14 (1997)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 591-613

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Handle: RePEc:taf:deveza:v:14:y:1997:i:4:p:591-613

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