The South African Economy, 1910-90

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The South African Economy, 1910-90 surveys the growth of the South African economy since 1910, when the four provinces came together to form the Union of South Africa. The theme of this book is the economic organization that made possible the growth of the South African economy which has contended with natural disasters, a backward but politically influential agricultural sector, a fixed gold price, the impact of two world wars and finally the constraints on growth imposed by the apartheid policies present since 1948. The book describes how the gold industry fuelled the growth of the economy and enabled the government to subsidise agriculture. The gold idustry, however, was a mixed blessing and since 1973 the dramatic rise in its price has not been accompanied by a boom in the growth rate. In fact it led to a marked deceleration in the rate of growth and triggered a burst of inflation that is still ravaging the South African economy. The affects on the economy of leaving the Commonwealth in 1961 are then examined, as this caused an industrial revolution that made South Africa the power house of Africa; but accompanying the industrial transformation was a population explosion that increased the need for foreign investment at a time when anti-apartheid campaigns were making this impossible. As a result in the 1980s there has been a decline in income and an increase in unemployment.