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SA's labour productivity declines again, data shows

Productivity SA explained that the decline was due to workplace and macroeconomic issues.

Workers on a vehicle assembly line. Picture: @FordSouthAfrica/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa’s labour productivity has declined yet again, with newly released data showing that real output decreased by 0.9% in 2018.

In an interview with Eyewitness News, Productivity SA explained that the decline was due to workplace and macroeconomic issues.

Labour productivity is a measure of the amount of output that is obtained from each employee and the recorded decline demonstrated just how dire conditions in the economy were.

Productivity SA said the decrease in output, together with a rise in labour input, led to the negative 0.9% slump in 2018 from 0.4% in 2017.

Chief Economist at Productivity SA Leroi Raputsoane said that the challenges in government which affected small business were just one of the factors which led to the state of affairs.

"One of the complaints from the business side was that they were not able to access skills, they are not able to access markets. This is a combination of a lot of things - it could reflect the weakness of our currency, it could reflect their ability to compete with their international counterparts."

However, the data also pointed to an increase in capital productivity in spite of the struggling economy.

Capital productivity measures how efficiently capital is used to generate output.

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