david mabuza land reform

Deputy President David Mabuza / File photo

Deputy President Mabuza doesn’t believe South Africa is in a recession

“We have not taken a comprehensive picture of our economy” – David Mabuza

david mabuza land reform

Deputy President David Mabuza / File photo

Deputy President David Mabuza is in denial about South Africa’s economic recession.

Mabuza had to dodge and dive out of the firing line of vicious questions asked of him by Members of Parliament during the National Assembly on Wednesday. While the Deputy was well aware of tricky queries coming from opposition party members, it’s a question posed by his fellow ANC cadre which really tripped him up.

Mabuza doesn’t agree with economists

ANC MP Juliana Kilian asked Mabuza about the current state of the economy, with emphasis on anti-poverty programs aimed at shortening the inequality gap. Supplementary questions steered the conversation towards the issue of economic recession, to which Mabuza replied:

“I don’t agree that we are in a technical recession. We have not taken a comprehensive picture of our economy. We are looking at it quarter by quarter. But if you look at the bigger picture, we can turn the situation around.”

While Mabuza pointed to the broader economic outlook, the reality of the current economic recession plaguing South Africa has been confirmed by consecutive contractions of the national GDP.

Stats SA released its financial report last week, which revealed the South African economy had contracted by 0.7% in the second quarter of 2018, following a revised 2.6% contraction in the first quarter.

Deputy President says more needs to be done to encourage growth

But Mabuza’s denial of the facts didn’t curb his commitment to assisting struggling sectors. The Deputy President argued that although small businesses were steadying themselves, more needed to be done, saying:

“We need to do more. I am encouraged by the fact that the Department of Small Business is finding its feet and I believe that it is one department that we should keep because we need to support SMMEs.”

As reported by Fin24, Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Dean MacPherson questioned Mabuza on a dispute concerning the National Treasury and the Department of Trade and Industry over funds due to the Employment Creation Fund that had not yet been distributed accordingly. Mabuza answered:

“I am sure that money will now be dispersed. I will make it my business to ensure that it is disbursed to those that need and deserve it. I accept what the minister told me because there is nothing credible that tells me something else.”