Structure of the economy to blame for low GDP growth - ATM leader

ATM Leader Vuyo Zungula. Picture: File

ATM Leader Vuyo Zungula. Picture: File

Published Mar 6, 2024


The insignificant economic growth is testament to the structure of the economy which has not been transformed in the past 30 years, African Transformation Movement (ATM) leader Vuyolwethu Zungula told The Star on Wednesday.

Zungula said the country’s growth levels were very low, taking into account the high unemployment rate and its growing inequalities.

“As ATM, we propose boosting manufacturing by setting aside products that are banned from being imported, a shift in government spending to be pro SMME and utilisation of the PIC funds to be production driven. These proposals will ensure the economy grows in a manner that creates jobs,” he said.

Zungula was responding to the latest figures by Statistics SA which revealed that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures showed slight growth of 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said this figure reflected resilience and a gradual economic recovery amid the ongoing challenges.

“Real GDP in the fourth quarter reached R1 158 billion, marking continuous improvement from the pre-Covid-19 level of R1 150 billion, though still below the peak recorded in the third quarter of 2022. The increase, though slight, signifies continued progress in the country’s economic recovery,” Ntshavheni said.

“It signifies the resilience of our economy and the positive impact of government interventions.”

Ntshavheni said the growth was particularly encouraging as it surpassed pre-pandemic levels.

The improvement was a sign of recovery, and bettering previous strength.

“We are particularly pleased to see the transport, storage, and communication industries leading the growth. This modest uptick in GDP is a testament to the concerted efforts of various sectors and stakeholders in navigating the complexities that were posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and other domestic and global challenges,” Ntshavheni said.

“The modest growth signifies a positive turning point. The Government remains committed to implementing policies that foster a conducive environment for further economic expansion, and to continue to invest in infrastructure development, support small businesses, and create an environment that attracts investment.”

The minister said working together as South Africans would build a stronger and more inclusive South African economy for all.

The Star

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