While previous studies highlight the importance of the manufacturing sector in the economy, we argue that rather backbone services play a key role for economic growth. We perform an Input-Output analysis to determine the linkages between backbone services and manufacturing in South Africa. We find high and evenly spread forward linkages of backbone services to the rest of the economy which indicate strong growth-inducing downstream effects. Moreover, the interconnectedness between backbone services and manufacturing is twofold and depends on the level of technology intensity of industries. Especially the production of high technology goods requires a relatively higher share of inputs from backbone services. Thus, an efficient provision of backbone services is essential to induce manufacturing production and enable economic growth in South Africa.
backbone services growth input-output analysis South Africa