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Economic stagnation continues under Zuma – Dr Dion George MP, DA

DAStatistics South Africa (StatsSA) today reported a 1.4% increase in the real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the third quarter of this year.

This represents abysmally slow growth, that will not yield the jobs necessary to make real inroads into reducing poverty and unemployment.

It is particularly concerning that the labour-intensive manufacturing industry shrank by 0.4 percentage points, illustrating poor job creation prospects within that sector. This sector is vital to combating unemployment and the poor result here is further proof of the inability of the economics cluster in cabinet to jump-start faster job creation in our economy.

South Africa’s economy is still stuck in first gear:

37.8% of South Africans are unable to find work

Our economy is no longer the most competitive economy in Africa

Inflation is at 6.6%, which is above the Reserve Bank’s 3% to 6% target range

Government debt to GDP has increased from 27% in 2009 to 46% this year

This dismal economic climate, which includes lacklustre economic growth, is wholly attributable to the ANC government’s macroeconomic policies. The same old policies produce the same old results – weak economic growth and no jobs.

Placing a deeply inefficient and increasingly corrupt state at the centre of our economy cannot lead to the accelerated growth needed to achieve our socio-economic objectives of reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The DA has long fought for reforms which will turn the economy around.

These include:

Providing political leadership and restoring investor certainty by speaking with one voice on the economy and implementing one plan;

Boosting trade with the rest of Africa through trade-focused diplomacy and cutting the costs of trading across borders;

Making it easier for South Africans to start and grow their own businesses by cutting red tape and providing more support for entrepreneurs;

Breaking up inefficient state monopolies and distributing shares to ordinary South Africans to increase competition;

Making sure that labour laws support job creation by achieving a balance between the protection of workers’ rights and the need for labour market flexibility in support of job creation; and

Managing public money better by combating government corruption and making sure that government spending decisions are taken in the best interest of all South Africans.

South Africans should not have to pay the price for an ANC government that is unable to create jobs and grow the economy.

A major reform of South Africa’s economic policy is what required.

Statement issued by Dr Dion George MP, DA Shadow Minister of Finance

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