Case Studies from Southern Africa
Glenn-Marie Lange and Rashid Hassan 2.1 INTRODUCTION Minerals are a principal source of income for many developing countries, including many in southern Africa. At first glance mineral-rich economies have an advantage over those less well endowed because minerals provide funds for rapid development and poverty reduction. However, as discussed in Chapter 1, resource abundance does not necessarily lead to economic prosperity for a variety of reasons grouped together under the ‘resource curse’. It is hoped that this chapter will shed some light on policies that can be taken to avoid the ‘resource curse’. Mining has played a vital role in the economic development of South Africa, Botswana and Namibia by financing growth in all sectors of the economy. Mining in all countries is dominated by large-scale commercial operations, although some small-scale artisanal mining does take place. Commercial mining in southern Africa had its origin in South Africa in the 19th century with the opening up of the Kimberley diamond mines in the 1860s followed by the Witwatersrand gold mines in the 1880s. With the discovery of gold and diamonds, the South African economy underwent rapid growth and dramatic structural change from a predominantly agricultural economy and rural population to a more urban economy centred around mining and supporting industries. The share of agriculture in employment dropped from 75 per cent to 33 per cent between 1865 and 1921. Exports grew rapidly during the same period with a steadily declining share of agricultural products matched by an increase in mineral exports....
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.