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Govt needs to outline concrete plans for SA economic recovery – economist

The economy contracting by 3.2% and the unemployment rate increased to 29% in the second quarter of the year.

FILE: President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - A top economist said it would take a lot more than unity to turn the nation’s economy around.

The comments followed President Cyril Ramaphosa’s pleas to the African National Congress and the nation to present a unified front in order to avoid discouraging investors.

• Ramaphosa: Where there is unity, there is growth

The local economy was struggling with stubbornly low growth rates and sky-high unemployment.

The economy contracting by 3.2% and the unemployment rate increased to 29% in the second quarter of the year, the highest level since the first quarter of 2008, according to data released by Statistics South Africa.

Political instability and confusion around key policies had also been blamed in part for the rand’s poor performance.

But despite the slew of bad news, the government was yet to outline concrete plans to deal with the issue.

Chief economist at Pan African Investment and Research Iraj Abedian said that was very worrying.

“Eighty percent to 85% of the contributors to the vulnerability and share on the currency are domestic, meaning we have no growth plan for this economy. Nobody knows when and how this economy is going to regain its growth path, at the moment we are literally stuck in at half a percent hovering around 0%,” Abedien said.