This paper quantifies the role of agriculture in the South African
economy. This is done within the context of, inter alia, food security,
agriculture’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), economic
linkages and multipliers with respect to the agricultural sector, agriculture’s
employment creation capacity and its external stabilization capacity. The
rationale for rural infrastructure investment is then investigated.
The quantification of the agricultural sector in relation to the total
economy and that of agricultural and rural infrastructure investment, are
investigated against the backdrop of declining government support,
increasing production risks due to a variety of exogenous events, like
climate change, and increasing dynamic trade impacts. In this paper, the
authors offer both supporting arguments in terms of current economic
policy and recommendations for more decisive policy measures for
agricultural regeneration and rural infrastructure investment.