COSATU statement on the third quarter GDP numbers

The Congress of South African Trade Unions has noted the report that shows that South Africa’s economy, as measured by the GDP has grown by 2,2 % during the third quarter of the year. These are positive and welcome news, although it is worth remembering that GDP is but one indicator of economic development and does not factor in other indicators such as unemployment and income inequality.

Our economy is struggling with the real unemployment rate of 38%, with close to 10 million people struggling to find jobs.

With these numbers, we cannot afford to have a jobless growth like we experienced before 2007. We need an economic trajectory that will ensure that there is a proper redistribution of income and that more people are allowed to participate in the economy.

Our own perspective of a South African economic growth path includes issues of social equity, redistribution and environmental sustainability and moves beyond the narrow definition of economic growth, which is based on the GDP growth rate and per capita income growth.

The last two decades have shown us that all of this cannot be left at the hands of the market. Unfortunately the South African government is continuing to adopt regressive and contractionary policies that only focus on cutting social expenditure and weaken the capacity of the state. The deceleration of fiscal spending since 2014 in an environment of depressed private sector investment and household spending will continue to keep this economy on its knees.

Issued by COSATU

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)
Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794