DA leader Mmusi Maimane will write to National Assembly speaker Baleka Mbete requesting an urgent debate on getting the country’s economy "up and running again" after Statistics SA announced that the country was in recession, for the second time in two years. However, it is technically the first recession since the financial crisis because the figures for the fourth quarter of 2016 were revised upwards, indicating that SA was not actually in recession last year. The economy has battled to fully recover and stabilise after former president Jacob Zuma’s disastrous tinkering with the National Treasury at the end of 2015, as part of state capture. Stats SA announced on Tuesday that the economy is officially in recession, with GDP growth down by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2018, following the huge 2.6% contraction in the first quarter. The economy is set to be a critical issue in the 2019 national elections — and the announcement of a recession less than a year before the polls does no...

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