4 September 2019
The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has welcomed the aversion of a technical recession after the economy grew by a respectable 3.1 percent in the second quarter of 2019 according to figures released by Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) on Tuesday. A technical recession occurs when an economy shrinks in two consecutive quarters.
StatsSA said the key driver of the growth was the mining industry which grew by an impressive 14.4 percent over the quarter, the highest rate it has posted in nearly four years. However, the sector has been rocked by massive retrenchments or threats of layoffs in the form of an endless torrent of Section 189 Notices.
The news of the growth constitutes a major relief for labour federations such as FEDUSA that have thousands of members in the sector and will certainly be used as a concrete basis for demanding higher wages in the next round of collective bargaining.
The growth is also a ray of hope that the record high national unemployment rate of 29 percent could also be stabilizing before hopefully beginning to inch downwards. The other sectors that added to the GDP growth were finance and trade that grew by 4.1 percent and 3.9 percent respectively.
FEDUSA also believes that the economy needs to extend the growth in investment as a catalyst for stronger growth and job creation – and lower interest rates can assist in this, as it will make a number of projects investable.
“However, this can only happen if the government takes decisive action to address and bring to an immediate end the current spate of destructive violence and looting that has taken over the country,’’ said FEDUSA Acting General Secretary Riefdah Ajam.
Unless there is clear action and communication from government on how they are going to restore order, we might as well kiss any kind of growth goodbye, concluded Ajam.
For interviews please contact:
Masale Godfrey Selematsela
065 652 2832/083 653 3021
FEDUSA Acting General Secretary
079 696 2626
FEDUSA Media and Research Officer
072 637 8096