An input-output analysis of the impact of mining on the South African economy

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We use input-output techniques to analyse the impacts of gold, coal, and other mining activities upon the South African economy between 1971 and 1993. Our results suggest that the premise upon which the South African government's proposed minerals policy is based, i.e. that 'the mining industries have the capacity to generate wealth and employment on a large scale' (Republic of South Africa, Department of Minerals and Energy, 1998. A minerals and mining policy. White Paper, Department of Minerals and Energy, Republic of South Africa), may require further thought. Our estimated production and employment multipliers indicate that the impacts of marginal changes in mining production and employment were not significantly different from production and employment impacts of most other South African economic activities and that there were few linkages between mining and the rest of the economy. These results suggest that South African mining activities will increase income and employment only if exports increase or if policies are established to increase linkages between mining and the rest of the South African economy. (C) 2000 Published by Elsevier Science Ltd.

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