The latest GDP growth figures should be a reminder that more needs to be done to grow the economy

05 March 2024

The latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth figures, including the 0.6% 2023 growth rate, should be a reminder to government, business and society that much more needs to be done to grow the economy.  Whilst the GDP report by Stats SA, confirms the resilience of the economy and the positive impact the reduced levels of loadshedding have had, the economy still remains extremely fragile. 

The effect of the challenges at Transnet Freight Rail and Ports are still to be felt, in particular by the mining, manufacturing and agricultural sectors who need a well-run Transnet to deliver their products to their destinations on time and at an affordable rate.  These sectors employ millions of workers and are key sources of taxes the state needs to fund the public services the economy and society rely upon.

Even the rosiest growth projections of Treasury of 1.3% to 1.8%, provide cold comfort for a society struggling to overcome an unemployment rate of 41% and a youth unemployment rate of 60%. 

The solutions are well known, in particular supporting Eskom to end loadshedding, securing and modernising Transnet to remove logistics backlogs, rebuilding municipal services and investing in public services, tackling endemic crime, corruption and tax evasion.  Whilst these are the interventions needed to grow the economy and reduce unemployment, they must be accompanied by support for the poor and the unemployed, in particular through extending and enhancing the SRD Grant and the Presidential Employment Stimulus as well as finalising the Two Pot Pension Reforms.  We also need to begin reprioritising the Budget and public procurement to invest in building local industries and sectors and ramp up local procurement by the state, private sector and consumers.

What we cannot afford to do is to continue normalising 1.3% let alone 0.6% GDP growth rate. 

 Issued by COSATU

For further information please contact:
Matthew Parks
Acting National Spokesperson & Parliamentary Coordinator
Cell: 082 785 0687