South Africa’s per capita gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual average rate of less than one percent between 1970 and 2008, the SA Institute of Race Relations said on Monday.
Compared to a number of countries around the world, South Africa’s growth rate over the period was a low 0.6 percent a year, according to the institute's South Africa Survey 2009/10.
Over the same period China managed 7.9 percent a year, Botswana 5.9, Indonesia 4.3, India 3.6 and Ireland 3.5.
The United Kingdom and United States achieved 1.9 percent each per year over the period.
Researcher Marius Roodt said the real GDP per capita of an economy is often used as an indicator of the average living standard of individuals in the country, and economic growth is therefore often seen as indicating an increase in the average standard of living.
He noted that in February last year Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said to achieve five million jobs over 10 years, South Africa needed growth of over six percent a year.
The National Treasury forecasts that between 2010 and 2014 the economic growth of the country will be between three and 4.4
Roodt said it was vital that the country’s economy managed to achieve high growth rates.
“An increase in the wealth of the average South African will ensure that the country remains politically, socially, and economically stable.” - Sapa