In this article we undertake a detailed exploration of the research and development activities in one particular middle-income country. We explore what the data from R&D surveys can tell us about the levels, the determinants and the effectiveness of R&D in the manufacturing sector. We point to some of the broader factors that may have influenced South Africa's drive to improve the technological capacity of its manufacturing sector, but we mostly focus on those issues associated directly with R&D. We show that the degree of interaction between the different domains of R&D activity, business, government and the tertiary sector has been weak, and that the possibility of positive spill-overs between these domains has not been fully exploited. In addition, little or no policy intervention designed to stimulate R&D activity by industry has been deployed in South Africa. We find that South African R&D activity has mainly been reactive in character and suggest that this lies at the heart of South Africa's mixed R&D performance in relation to other developing countries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics