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Marcus: No recession for SA economy

Gill Marcus says she does not see the continent’s most advanced economy going into a recession.

FILE: Gill Marcus says she does not see the continent’s most advanced economy going into a recession. Picture: Sapa.

PRETORIA - South Africa's central bank Governor Gill Marcus said on Tuesday she did not see the continent's most advanced economy going into recession, despite a GDP contraction of 0.6 percent in the first quarter.

"It would have to be a very dramatic decrease on the numbers that are already there for us to go into a recession, so we don't see that happening," Marcus told a forum after the Reserve Bank released its June monetary policy review.

Economists have warned of increasing strain as strike action spreads across various sectors, the rand hits fresh lows, and car sales and manufacturing figures collapse.

With three major strikes bearing down on South African industry, there are renewed fears that mass action will leave the country unable to recover from a looming recession.

The strike on the platinum belt, the longest and costliest in South African mining history, is nearing the five-month mark.

This comes as a new strike by workers in the sugar industry is gaining momentum and up to 200,000 workers in the metal and engineering are threatening action.

Workers affiliated to the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union downed tools in January, demanding a basic salary of R12,500, while members of the Food and Allied Workers Union went on strike last week for a 15 percent wage hike.