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Nene: SA growth not at full potential

The finance minister acknowledged the country's economic growth targets may not be reached.

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - South Africa's economic growth is not reaching its full potential, Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene said on Wednesday.

The minister and officials from the South African Revenue Service (Sars) presented their strategic plan for the next five years in Parliament, Cape Town.

Nene acknowledged the country's economic growth targets may not be reached.

The minister says while growth projections are constantly changing, a definite answer on where South Africa stands economically will only be given once the medium-term budget is tabled.

Nene's comments come after South Africa's economy contracted 0,6 percent in the first quarter of 2014, largely due to a protracted strike in the platinum sector.

The National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) members on Tuesday embarked on a nationwide strike.

If the industrial action continues for long, the economy could record a second quarter of negative growth, which would result in a recession.

SARS AIMS FOR R1 TRILLION

Nene said Sars aimed to collect close on R1 trillion, despite slower economic growth.

The service has a revenue projection of more than R993 billion for the 2014/2015 financial year.

Nene says Sars has a clear mandate which can't be affected by a slow economy.

The agency announced that an estimated 130,000 people have submitted their tax returns since the opening of tax season on Tuesday.