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Ireen Choga ORCID logo, Asrat Tsegaye



What is the nature and extent of export diversification in South Africa? The primary purpose of this paper is to seek empirical answers to this question. In an attempt to derive empirical measures of the extent of export diversification and the structural changes taking place in South Africa, this paper uses a sample of a group of 28 selected commodities for the period 1980-2012 for which the most recent data is available. The following methods were used to measure the extent of export diversification and the structural changes in export diversification: Commodity-specific cumulative export Experience function, the Commodity-specific traditional index (CSTI), variance of CSTI, concentration ratio and the aggregate specialisation index. The Commodity-Specific Cumulative Experience Function plots show that roughly, commodities such as scientific equipment, transport equipment, motor vehicles, furniture, machinery and electronic products were shifted to the right indicating that the commodities are non-traditional in nature whereas gold coal agricultural products and wood are traditional in nature. The CSTI rankings indicated that motor vehicle exports ranked first showing that motor vehicles are non-traditional exports. Findings of this paper corroborate findings of other scholars; we conclude that our results are complementary.

Keywords: Export Diversification, Nature, Extent, South Africa

How to cite this paper: Choga, I., & Tsegaye, A. (2015). Export diversification and structural changes in South Africa. Journal of Governance and Regulation, 4(3-1), 128-137. https://doi.org/10.22495/jgr_v4_i3_c1_p4