SA is in the grip of a recession far deeper than that feared by most economists — and this is before the growth-sapping impact of the global coronavirus epidemic has been felt. SA is now staring a severe fiscal crisis in the face and nobody should be surprised if the economy contracts outright in 2020.Last year, the pace of economic activity in SA slowed to just 0.2% — the lowest level since the global financial crisis.This is well below consensus expectations and continues a downward slide the government has been unable to reverse.In the first five years of the past decade (2009-2013), SA’s real GDP growth averaged almost 2%; for the past five years (2014-2018) it has averaged about 1%. In fact, SA’s growth rate hasn’t been above 2% since 2013 and has slowed almost every year since then.SA’s real GDP growth was 1.8% in 2014, 1.2% in 2015, 0.4% in 2016, 1.4% in 2017, 0.8% in 2018 and 0.2% in 2019.Even more worrying is that the SA economy got off to a weak start in 2020, with the Feb...

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