Written by on March 6, 2024

Written by: Tasha Siziba


Economic growth decreased by 0.2% in the third quarter and a decrease in the fourth quarter could mean South Africa is in a technical recession.

The GDP data from Statistics South Africa shows the economy’s acute fragility but also its resilience and the benefits of less load shedding.

Matthew Parks, Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator, says challenges at Transnet Freight Rail and Ports affect mining, manufacturing, and agricultural sectors, requiring efficient delivery of products, employing millions, and generating taxes for state services.

“Even the rosiest growth projections of Treasury of 1.3% to 1.8%, provide cold comfort for a society struggling to overcome an unemployment rate of 41% and a youth unemployment rate of 60%.”

Eskom on Wednesday has reintroduced daytime load shedding due to a delay in the return of generating units to service.

COSATU believes solutions include supporting Eskom to end loadshedding, modernizing Transnet to remove logistics backlogs, rebuilding municipal services, investing in public services, and tackling crime, corruption, and tax evasion.

World Unemployment Day is observed every year on 6 March while South Africa’s unemployment rate, already the highest in the world, rose to 32.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Quarterly Labor Force Survey revealed a rise in South Africa’s unemployed working-age population to 7.9 million, with 46,000 more unemployed in the last three months of 2023.

Parks say interventions are necessary to stimulate economic growth and decrease unemployment, but they must be accompanied by support for the poor and unemployed.

“In particular through extending and enhancing the SRD Grant and the Presidential Employment Stimulus as well as finalizing the Two Pot Pension Reforms.”

What we cannot afford to do is to continue normalizing 1.3% let alone 0.6% GDP growth Rate, said Parks

In conclusion COSATU wants the budget and public procurement to be reprioritized to invest in local industries and sectors, promoting increased local procurement by the state, private sector, and consumers.

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