SA shows green shoots of recovery, progress

President Cyril Ramaphosa says pledges from the recent investment conference, the latest job figures and GDP data are an indication that the country is turning the corner and returning to pre-COVID-19 pandemic growth levels.

The President said this when he led a debate on The Presidency’s Budget Vote during a sitting of the National Assembly on Thursday.

“Amidst our challenges, there is cause for optimism as our economy is beginning to show positive signs of recovery.

“I present this Presidency Budget Vote in the week that Stats SA announced that in the first quarter of 2022 the South African economy grew by 1.9 percent. The growth we have experienced in recent quarters has brought the economy to pre-pandemic levels much sooner than analysts expected,” he said.

The President said real GDP is slightly higher than what it was before the pandemic.

The recovery is consistent across most of the major sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing, trade, utilities, finance, personal services, mining, and agriculture.

“In recent weeks, there has also been encouraging progress by law enforcement authorities in pursuing cases from the state capture era.

“These are the green shoots of recovery and of progress. These are the signs that we are on the right track. They give us hope and confidence to forge ahead,” he said.

Record high trade figures since 1987

The President said the country’s trade figures show further evidence of economic recovery.

“In 2021, we posted the largest trade surplus on record at R448 billion, the highest since 1987,” he said.

The President said, meanwhile, that last week, the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey was released and showed that the number of unemployed people in the country dropped in the first three months of 2022.

“This translates to 370 000 jobs created between the last quarter of 2021 and the first quarter of this year,” he said.

A step closer to reaching SA’s investment target

Meanwhile, government’s drive to raise R1.2 trillion in five years is within reach.

“I also present this Budget Vote in the year that the 4th South Africa Investment Conference raised investment pledges to the value of R332 billion. This brings us within reach of the target we set in 2018 of attracting R1.2 trillion in investment over five year,” he said.

The outcome of the conference, he said, was indicative of renewed business and investor confidence in the economy and in government’s reform process.

“When this administration took office three years ago, we embarked on a path of renewal to restore the promise of our democracy. And we have come a long way.

“The economic recovery is gathering momentum, and the GDP growth figures speak for themselves, as does the steady uptake of domestic and foreign investment.

“The state is being steadily rebuilt and credibility is being restored,” he said.

Source: South African Government News Agency




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