Zuma’s ANC dumps our economy into recession – Mmusi Maimane

DA leader says ruling party has led the country to a point of economic collapse

Zuma’s ANC dumps our economy into recession

6 June 2017

Today Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) has announced that South Africa’s economy is officially in recession, with GDP growth for Quarter 1 of 2017 down 0.7%, which follows a 0.3% contraction in Quarter 4 of 2016.

It is the ANC that has led us to this point of economic collapse, where we have a “junk” economy in recession, and where 9.3 million South Africans are without work - the highest unemployment rate in over 14 years. It is a toxic combination of policy uncertainty and grand corruption which has led us to this point. Indeed, the ANC has allowed the state to be captured for the benefit of a small group of connected individuals, while the majority of South Africans are left in poverty and without hope.

This recession – the second in 8 years – follows the recent decision by two international ratings agencies to downgrade our sovereign rating to “junk status”. Moreover, just last week, our country’s unemployment hit a 14 year high, with 9.3 million South Africans without a job. The official unemployment rate has gone up to 27.7 % - this is the highest level since March 2003.

The sectors hardest hit were the trade, catering and accommodation industry, which decreased by -5.9%, and manufacturing, which decreased by -3.7%. Without growth in these vital sectors, the gap between the “haves and the “have not’s” will continue to grow, and the poor will be without opportunity to better their lives.

The high growth sectors of our economy – such as manufacturing and tourism - ought to be stimulated with an array of policy interventions to facilitate growth. The government has failed dismally in this regard.

What South Africa now requires is leadership that understands our economy and what it requires to grow, and appreciates that without a strong and thriving economy we will never address the injustices of our past.

Our economy is now in tatters as a direct result of an ANC government which is corrupt to the core and has no plan for our economy. We will never achieve a united, non-racial and prosperous nation without a growing economy which creates jobs, opportunity and wealth for all.

The only hope for our country, for our economy and for 9.3 million South Africans is to remove the ANC from government in 2019.

Issued by Mmusi Maimane, Leader of the Democratic Alliance, 6 June 2017