Supporting Circular Economy for Manufacturing Sector (CSIR)

November 1, 2022

The South African manufacturing sector has suffered from de-industrialization over the past two decades, mimicking global trends. However, the local manufacturing sector continues to operate on the linear ‘take-make-dispose’ economic model, plagued by excessive resource demand, unsustainable production and consumption patterns, and high levels of wastage. There is a need for systemic shifts in production and consumption patterns to enable effective resource utilization to achieve sustainable economic growth, preserving natural capital and improving socio-economic wellbeing.

Various policy and economic drivers have resulted in a declining demand from South Africa’s main export markets, which has seen the sector’s GDP contribution fall from over 20% in 1993 to 13% in 2020. The South African manufacturing sector, despite its decline, remains a sizeable contributor to national greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, largely through the sector’s fossil-based energy use, and liquid fuel demand. The heavy economic dependence on resource extraction in favor of exports is well recognized (See CSIR Mining Briefing Note). Despite massive inputs of natural resources, productivity within the manufacturing sector remains low, while significant volumes of waste and pollution are generated.

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Article Credit

Author: Shahed Fazluddin, Vincent Ojijo, Anton Nahman & Linda Godfrey
Title: Supporting the development of a globally competitive manufacturing sector through a more circular economy (CSIR)
Published: 01 November 2022

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