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Improving industrial policy intervention in South Africa


This interdisciplinary project aims to contribute to the lack of tools to support efficient industrial policy-making, especially in the mineral beneficiation policy literature. Beneficiation can be broadly defined as the local value add to mineral-based products within a country before export. To address this vacuum, Bam and De Bruyne (2018) developed a novel framework and applied it to the case of steel in South Africa. They found that a ‘leap-frogging’ approach to development within the value chain may be more optimal than a strict beneficiation based industrial policy: it is in other words better to invest in particular subsectors and not necessarily develop each sub-sector sequentially. We would like to use this 2-year project to (i) widen the scope of this methodology by applying it both to other sectors and to other developing countries, based on the learnings from the interactions with the various stakeholders in South Africa – and as such extend the research capacity of both local partners; (ii) disseminate the results widely among the policy makers in South Africa – and as such contribute to a more efficient industrial policy intervention.

Intervention type

South Initiatives


01/01/2020 - 31/12/2021

This project is being implemented in:
Flemish promoter Karolien De Bruyne
Local promoter Corne Schutte
Local partner institution KU Leuven
visit www.kuleuven.be
Local partner institution Stellenbosch University
visit https://www.sun.ac.za
Other local partners Cape Peninsula University of Technology
visit www.cput.ac.za
Budget € 69.806