Newsdeck

S.Africa economy contracts at sharpest rate in nine years

By AFP 5 June 2018

South Africa's economy suffered its sharpest contraction in nearly a decade in the first quarter of 2018, official data showed on Tuesday, highlighting the huge challenge facing President Cyril Ramaphosa as he tries to get the economy back on its feet.

Gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by 2.2 percent in the period from January to March, compared with the preceding three months, the statistics authority Stats SA calculated.

“After growing by 3.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2017, the South African economy wobbled in the first quarter of 2018, shrinking by 2.2 percent,” it said in a statement.

It was the sharpest contraction since the first quarter of 2009, when South Africa’s economy shrank by 6.1 percent.

Almost all sectors suffered a decline, with the agricultural sector performing particularly badly and contracting by 24.2 percent in the January-March period, also the sharpest quarter-on-quarter dip since 2009, the statisticians said.

The mining sector even “entered into recession with its second consecutive quarter of economic decline,” according to Stats SA.

Lower gold and platinum production, as well as challenges in iron ore manufacture all contributed to a 9.9-percent dip in the sector in the first quarter.

The economic picture was not all bleak, however, and modest improvements were seen in the insurance, transport and property sectors.

South Africa has suffered several years of sluggish growth and a stubbornly high unemployment rate, currently at 27.7 percent.

President Ramaphosa has made fixing the economy the centrepiece of his political pitch to voters. Avoiding a credit rating downgrade is also a government priority. DM

Gallery

Want to watch Richard Poplak’s audition for SA’s Got Talent?

Who doesn’t? Alas, it was removed by the host site for prolific swearing*... Now that we’ve got your attention, we thought we’d take the opportunity to talk to you about the small matter of book burning and freedom of speech.

Since its release, Pieter-Louis Myburgh’s book Gangster State, has sparked numerous fascist-like behavior from certain members of the public (and the State). There have been planned book burnings, disrupted launches and Ace Magashule has openly called him a liar. And just to say thanks, a R10m defamation suit has been lodged against the author.

Pieter-Louis Myburgh is our latest Scorpio Investigative journalist recruit and we’re not going to let him and his crucial book be silenced. When the Cape Town launch was postponed, Maverick Insider stepped in and relocated it to a secure location so that Pieter-Louis’ revelations could be heard by the public. If we’ve learnt one thing over the past ten years it is this: when anyone tries to infringe on our constitutional rights, we have to fight back. Every day, our journalists are uncovering more details and evidence of State Capture and its various reincarnations. The rot is deep and the threats, like this recent one to freedom of speech, are real. You can support the cause by becoming an Insider and help free the speech that can make a difference.

*No video of Richard Poplak auditioning for SA’s Got Talent actually exists. Unless it does and we don’t know about it please send it through.


Comments

Please note you must be a Maverick Insider to comment. Sign up here or if you are already an Insider.

SOUTH AFRICA’S 6TH PARLIAMENT

Cyril Ramaphosa elected president while the ANC factional bombs detonate in full view

By Marianne Merten

The movie Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is titled It’s Raining Falafel in Israel.