SA's shock economic contraction in the third quarter, the second decline of 2019, crystallised the need for urgent economic reforms if the country is to avoid a damaging ratings downgrade after February's budget.

Stats SA said on Tuesday that GDP shrank by 0.6%, compared to an unchanged reading forecast by economists in a Bloomberg survey. The economy grew just 0.1% from the same period in 2018. The report cemented concern that SA will only manage marginal growth,for the full year, making it harder for the government to contain debt and increase revenue.

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