13 June 2017

South Africa: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats - the State of the SA Economy


I have decided to do a quick SWOT analysis on the SA economy - beginning with the weakness, then discussing the current and emerging threats we need to manage, followed by the strengths we can build on and the opportunities we can leverage to get the economy on a path of sustained recovery. Unfortunately, I may speak a little more on the weaknesses and threats than on the strengths and opportunities. This is the space we are in.

So let me then begin with the weaknesses. There are many, so I will cut to the chase. Over the recent past I have written and spoken extensively on the weaknesses of the SA economy. I have argued that we are stuck in a low growth trap.

The recent growth data released recently by StatsSA shows that we have technically entered into a recession. The South African economy contracted by 0.3% in the last quarter of 2016 and 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017, meaning that it has contracted for two successive quarters. A closer look at the data shows that the primary sector - that is mining and agriculture - is recovering, growing by almost 15% quarter on quarter. This...

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