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Real Economy Year Book 2018

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During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s mea culpa social call on Desmond Tutu in May, the Archbishop Emeritus urged Ramaphosa to ensure that his much-vaunted ‘New Dawn’ did not turn out to be a ‘false dawn’. Without doubt, all well-meaning South Africans share Tutu’s sentiments. The overwhelming majority of citizens, including those in business, are desperate to see South Africa succeed economically and increasingly yearn for a more just, caring and equitable, as well as safer, society. Goodwill will be necessary, but insufficient to reignite growth- and job-stimulating investment. Trust and confidence remain fragile, and fresh uncertainty has also undoubtedly emerged as a result of the current debate about how best to proceed on much-needed land reform. It is up to government to take the lead in helping to rebuild greater resilience and confidence. The way it deals with the land debate will be a critical test, but so will its handling of issues as diverse as State-owned power utility Eskom’s sustainability, the next iteration of the Mining Charter and municipal competence. Without rapid and sustained progress across multiple fronts, Tutu’s warning of a false dawn could prove dreadfully prophetic. This publication aims to make a contribution, however modest, to building a platform for greater economic dynamism, focusing on developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, materials handling and logistics, pumps, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors. These sectors do not only feature in this edition of Creamer Media’s Real Economy Yearbook, but as separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight.

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