by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG – CONFIRMATION that South Africa’s economy has contracted by over half in the second quarter of the year is a further blow to a country already in crisis.
South Africa confirmed the gross domestic product (GDP) declined by 51 percent.
This is the fourth successive quarter that the economy has declined.
The shrinkage exceeded market expectations of a 47 percent decline.
“The punch in the gut was severe,” Statistician-General and Head of Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), Risenga Maluleke, said.
“This contraction dwarfs the annualised slowdown of 6,1% recorded in the first quarter of 2009 during the global financial crisis.”
The decline is largely attributed to measures imposed to curb the coronavirus (COVID-19).
“One of the world’s longest and hardest lockdowns has kneecapped the economy,” lamented Geordin Hill, Democratic Alliance Shadow Minister of Finance.
“The consequences will be felt for years to come, and will be seen in many more unemployed people, many more living in poverty, and many more feeling hopeless in South Africa.”
Africa’s most industrialised economy was battling massive job losses before the COVID-19 outbreak in March.
The eruption of the virus has coincided with a peak in corruption, with some government official implicated.
A rise in gender-based violence and racial tensions have added to the country’s owes.
– CAJ News