- The South African economy took a serious downturn in the first quarter of 2019
- It has been blamed on load shedding and policy uncertainty, among other factors
- The decline has led some economists to call for stronger action from Cyril Ramaphosa
In the first quarter of 2019, South Africa's GDP contracted by 3.2%.
While many experts had suggested that the economy performance in this quarter would be disappointing, this is still substantially worse than most predictions.
As a result of the downturn, there have been widespread calls for President Ramaphosa to do more to stimulate the economy.
The economy's performance in the first quarter of the year makes for the worst quarter since at least the 2009 Global Financial Crisis.
Load shedding has been identified by several economists as a primary culprit for the dismal economic performance, according to The Citizen. Lack of power dealt a significant blow the manufacturing sector, in particular.
Another major drag on the economy was the five month strike by Sibyanye-Stillwater workers which brought much mining activity to a halt.
Additionally, policy uncertainty has been singled out as a contributing factor. A fall in investment suggests that investors are spooked by an uncertain regulatory environment, which is likely not being helped by political talk of land expropriation without compensation and nationalisation of the Reserve Bank.
As a result of the bleak economic situation, economist Mike Schussler urged Ramaphosa to take decisive action.
"SA needs leadership and not more investigations, commissions, etc," Schussler Tweeted. "Lock corruptors/traitors up."
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