http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.49Change: 0.01
R/$ = 10.50Change: -0.01
Au 1294.90 $/ozChange: 0.00
Pt 1407.50 $/ozChange: -5.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Feb 25, 2011

DTI is building capacity for industrial development

Back
Germany|Japan|South Africa|South Korea|London University|Media Reports|Print Media|Ben Fine|Rob Davies|Wits
germany|japan|south-africa|south-korea|london-university-facility|media-reports|print-media|ben-fine|rob-davies|wits
© Reuse this



The Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development Research Programme (CSID) – the University of the Witwatersrand’s (Wits’) economics policy research unit of which I am director – hosted the launch of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI’s) capacity building programme at the university in early February.

The launch was the culmination of hard work by the DTI and Wits to tailor postgraduate programmes that would help the DTI in building the correct capacity for researching and implementing its industrial policies.

The launch received space in the print media and air time on radio and television because the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies, gave the keynote address. Two newspapers took excerpts from the speeches by Davies and our guest speaker, Professor Ben Fine, of London University, to come up with headlines that said that South Africa did not have skills to implement policy and that South African economists were not competent. Some of the media reports missed the point and the importance of the new capacity building programme.

The launch was important because Davies not only acknowledged the capacity challenges faced by the DTI in implementing its industrial policies but also showed South Africans that he and the department were working with Wits to do something about the situation. Further, Davies said that he wanted to work with other South African universities to tackle the economic policy research skills shortages faced by government. The DTI’s capacity building programme at Wits is focused on training existing staff at the department and increasing the pool of appropriately skilled postgraduates available for recruitment by the DTI and other government departments.

There is a certificate programme in economic and development policy taught in the Graduate School of Public and Development Management, and some of the courses in the certificate programme will be taught by the CSID. There is a new honours degree in development policy and theory starting this year and a new master’s degree in development policy and theory starting next year. The programme includes workshops from 2012 for ongoing training for alumni of the programme and a regular seminar series called Economic Policy Dialogues, which will have internationally acclaimed development economists speaking on the latest developments in the field.

All government departments have difficulties getting enough of the correct staff. One of the problems identified by the DTI is that most South African universities do not have the required economics training required by people who will work on economic and industrial policy research and implementation. Fine made the point at the launch earlier this month that this shortcoming is not confined to South Africa but that there is a problem in the way economics is taught in most universities around the world. Mainstream economics courses usually follow neoclassical economic theory fairly closely and are suspicious of State involvement in the economy. They believe that markets left to themselves will correct any perceived market failures. Neoclassical eco- nomists that do see a role for the State say the State should play a small role aimed at improving the workings of the market.

Nonmainstream economists assign a more important role for the State in the economy. South Africa has to draw on academic learning and country experiences where the State has played a significant and successful role in transforming economies. We can learn from countries such as Germany, Japan, South Korea and others how the State actively worked with the private sector to build a successful industrial base and international competitiveness.

These countries did not have the State trying to improve the operation of markets, but had States that actively transform the industrial structure and how markets operate. To deal with our economic devel- opment challenges, including our huge unemployment problems, the South African State will have to work to drive South Africa onto a new economic growth path through the transformation of our industrial landscape. For government departments such as the DTI to be actively involved in devel- oping economic policies to drive this transformation, they require well-trained economists that not only understand that the State should play a big role in the economy, but can also develop and implement those policies.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Seeraj Mohamed News
The Corporate Strategy and Industrial Development Research Programme (CSID) - the University of the Witwatersrand's (Wits') economics policy research unit of which I am director – hosted a launch of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (DTI's) capacity...
We enter 2011 with much global economic uncertainty. South Africans should consider the country's economic policies and activities within the context of an uncertain and volatile global economy.
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Few would argue with the notion that unemployment, which stands at around 25% on the narrow definition as reported by Statistics South Africa, remains one of the country’s most pressing challenges. Fewer still could contest the view that South Africa’s education...
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday. Opening a WRC debate under the theme...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks