South Africa’s national statistics agency, Statistics South Africa, on Tuesday said the country recorded a fourth consecutive quarter of economic growth between April and June
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) after rising by 1.0 percent in Q1 (October to December 2020), rose by 1.2 percent in the second quarter of 2021.
The agency cautioned that the current quarter could be less rosy because of the violent looting in July which erupted after the former president Jacob Zuma was jailed. The financial hub of the country, Johannesburg and eastern KwaZulu-Natal province had at least 40,000 businesses vandalised, costing the country billions in losses.
According to the agency, the impact of that severe economic disruption would show in third quarter GDP results, scheduled for release in December.
In March last year, the country’s GDP crashed when then government implemented a first lockdown, closing borders and shutting non-essential businesses for over a month.
Economic activities have continued to struggle amidst rolling restrictions by authorities in an effort to battle the coronavirus pandemic, with a curfew and lockdown measures still in place in the country.
Statistics South Africa said the GDP, “has seen consistent growth since that (March 2020) shock, but not enough to return to pre-Covid-19 levels.”
“We’re not out of the woods yet.”
“Despite the gains made… the economy is 1.4 percent smaller” than before the coronavirus pandemic, the Agency announced in a statement.
Transport and communication industries, personal services and trade are the main drivers of this year’s Q2 growth
Household consumption expenditure increased by 0.5 percent and exports rose four percent, mainly due to growing trade in minerals, precious stones and vehicles among others.
Last year South Africa’s economy went into its first recession in 11 years as it shrank seven percent because of the pandemic.