'Recession not on cards'

Finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Picture Credit: Gallo Images

South Africa's economy faces more uncertainty in the coming year, thanks to global political trends that have seen the rise of Donald Trump and the surprise of Brexit.

But Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan assured South Africans that the country is not at risk of a recession despite its slow economic growth. He was addressing the National Union of Metalworkers of SA national congress in Cape Town yesterday.

"In 2017, it's going to be a difficult year. Both politically, geopolitically and economically speaking as well," said Gordhan.

He warned that as a result of Brexit and the election of Trump as the president of the US, a number of trade deals may be renegotiated.

In South Africa, the ANC is expected to undergo a bruising succession battle as different factions in the party are expected to back Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa or African Union chairwoman, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, to succeed President Jacob Zuma.

But Gordhan said globally the electorate was beginning to question the establishment because they didn't see the benefit of the wealth accumulated by the ruling elites.

"[The electorate was arguing that] unless we see the benefit, we are going to vote for Mr Trump or we are going to vote for Brexit or we are going to vote for the European Union to be broken up or we are going to vote for right wing populist parties," he said.

Speaking about the South African economy, he said the country was "in the process of recovering''.

Gordhan added that government and other stakeholders needed to work together to affect the changes.

"We need to find areas where we can work together ... there are many areas of the economy that are doing well ..." he said.

He said South Africans also needed to question whether the country's problems was a lack of money or money that was misspent by the government.

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