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David Kaplan

University of Cape Town

David Kaplan is Professor of Business Government Relations and Professor of Economics at the University of Cape Town. He has extensive experience in working with the government of South Africa and consulted the World Bank, the African Development Bank, the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization; and Business Leadership South Africa. He has BA BComm (UCT), MA (Kent) and DPhil (Sussex).
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publication
South African mining equipment and specialist services: Technological capacity, export performance and policy

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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publication
“One thing leads to another”—Commodities, linkages and industrial development

With a particular focus on low income economies in SSA, this paper addresses the nature and determinants of linkages from the commodities sectors and challenges the received view that enclave development is an inherent characteristic of resource extraction, particularly in the hard and energy commodities sectors. It argues that there has been a steady increase in linkage development and that there are significant opportunities for deepening this process. The opportunities may be greater for backward than for forward linkages, particularly in the minerals and energy sectors. In making this case, this Discussion Paper draws on the experience of high income countries which have resource intensive economic structures, the geographical specificity of many resources and the growing interest of large resource extracting firms in outsourcing the production of inputs which are outside of their core competences and in supporting local production of some inputs, it sets out a general model of linkage development which distinguishes between win–win and win–lose outcomes.

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