economySouth Africa

South Africa’s economy grew by 1.9% in Q1 2022, says Ramaphosa

By Oluwaseun Sonde

South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa has said that amidst all challenges, there is cause for optimism as the county’s economy is beginning to show positive signs of recovery, announced that the first quarter of 2022, South African economy grew by 1.9 per cent.

Ramaphosa revealed this when he presented the Presidency budget vote at the Parliament on Thursday, he said the growth experienced in recent quarters has brought the economy to pre-pandemic levels much sooner than analysts expected.

According to him, “Indeed, real GDP is slightly higher than what it was before the pandemic. This recovery is consistent across most of the major sectors of the economy, such as manufacturing, trade, utilities, finance, personal services, mining, and agriculture.

“Our 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. Last week, the latest Quarterly Labour Force Survey was released, showing that the number of unemployed people in the country dropped in the first three months of 2022”.

The President who said he also presented 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 years.

“The outcome of the Conference shows renewed business and investor confidence in our economy and in our reform process. In recent weeks, there has also been encouraging progress by law enforcement authorities in pursuing cases from the state capture era.

He recalled that 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.

“Since the sixth administration took office in 2019, we have been seized with restoring state capacity, and with forging whole-of-society partnerships with business, labour and civil society on the actions that are needed to rebuild our economy.
“Building a capable state and restoring integrity and professionalism to the public service has been our foremost priority. What we have sought to do over the past four years is to locate The Presidency at the centre of an integrated government.

“From this centre, we have been leading the drive to reconstruct the nation’s economy in a manner that is inclusive, and that leaves no-one behind. In this year’s State of the Nation Address, I outlined our key priorities for the year ahead.
“These priorities are to grow the economy and create jobs, fight corruption, make communities safer, build better lives for all our people, and make government work for the people of our country. We have been doing all of this while working to ensure a swift recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigating the impact of the recent floods”.

Ramaphosa stated that at the heart of his administration growth strategy is a bold and far-reaching economic reform agenda. “These reforms are being driven by the relevant departments and agencies and supported by Operation Vulindlela, which is an initiative of The Presidency and National Treasury.

“These reforms aim to achieve an affordable and reliable supply of electricity and efficient freight transport. They aim to achieve long-term water security, cheaper mobile data for all South Africans and a visa regime that facilitates tourism and investment”.

He explained further that the govt is firmly on track to implement the reforms outlined in the State of the Nation Address. “In March, the long-awaited spectrum auction was completed to expand access to the internet and reduce the cost of data, for the first time in more than a decade. 

“This was a difficult and complex process. We are grateful to all those who made this possible. In April, Bid Window 6 of the renewable energy procurement programme was opened for 2,600 MW of solar and wind power”, the President said.

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