#Recession: South Africa’s politicians blast the ANC after GDP shrinks

south africa flag human rights day chris eason flickr

There’s some bad news today, South Africa. The nation has fallen into a technical recession after its latest gross domestic product (GDP) figures were released today.

The GDP shrunk for the second quarter in a row in 2018 — a key determining factor when describing a technical recession. In Q1 2018, economic activity dipped by 2.6%. In Q2 2018, it reduced by a further 0.7%.

Agriculture landed the heaviest blow, falling nearly 30% quarter-over-quarter. Transport (-4.9), Trade (-1.9%) and Government (-0.5%) were the other biggest sandbags on the economy.

It’s the first time South Africa has faced a technical recession since Q4 2016/Q1 2017.

#Recession, #economy and #gdp all began trending across Twitter in South Africa on Tuesday afternoon, as the news sunk in. Combined with the ailing rand, the volatile petrol price and the ongoing land reform issues, Twitter users weren’t in a good mood.

Speaking of the ailing rand…

Parties slam the ANC

South Africa’s political heavyweights lead the discussion, taking aim at the ANC for its governance. The IFP was one of the first parties to voice its opinion.

“SA’s economic #recession a result of ANC policy failure. What is fundamentally clear is that since the ANC came out at NASREC & the subsequent elevation of Ramaphosa to high office we have not seen change, nothing but statements of intent and placatory remarks,” said its national spokesperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane called the news “an explicit vote of no confidence in the ANC”.

Using the hashtag #RamaReality, DA chief whip John Steenhuisen was more brazen, calling out state capture and “rampant looting”.

Former secretary general of COSATU Zwelinzima Vavi called for the “structural deficiencies” in the economy to be addressed.

The public’s opinion

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s honeymoon period is now absolutely over, as many users blamed his leadership for the recession.

“Ramaphosa sold us all a lemon. And then increased VAT on lemonade,” tweeted Simon Grindrod.

Not everyone was blaming President Cyril Ramaphosa or the ANC in its current state though. Many looked at former President Jacob Zuma’s administration as the source of the problems.

But others took aim at both leaders.

But many in South Africa didn’t care who was to blame. Some predicted that the worst is yet to come for the country’s citizens.

“Lots of people are about to lose their jobs, kicked out of school, die due to lack of medication supply and worse the crime is about to breakthrough the ceiling… SA is gonna go through a lot because of this,” tweeted one user.

Feature image: Chris Eason via Flickr (CC 2.0 BY)

Andy Walker, former editor


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