TREVOR MANUEL: Our problem: spending more on the past than the future
The solution is to focus on four major challenges: unemployment, inequality, public services and the public-sector wage bill
SA has had two major shocks in as many weeks. First, the GDP statistics for the fourth quarter of 2019 were released. The quarterly shrinkage of 1.4% was larger than most economists predicted and, when read with the -0.8% growth in the third quarter, confirmed that we are in recession.
An unstated but worrisome fact is that the sectors that showed the steepest declines are those black entrepreneurs that have largely migrated to: agriculture (-7.6%); transport & communications (-7.2%); construction (5.9%); electricity, gas and water (-4%); and manufacturing (-1.8%). As the markets have shown us in recent days, the global effect of the coronavirus will undoubtedly mean that the situation will become increasingly serious. It is virtually impossible to transform an economy that is not growing...