South Africa’s economy is on track to grow from the current 2.8% to 3.1% for 2021, the presidency’s economic and planning division said on Thursday.The revised anticipated growth is due to the country’s strong economy and positive economic interventions despite tough conditions under the coronavirus pandemic, the presidency’s said.
“Government is confident that the economy will recover with the diligent implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) and the vaccination programme through continued collaborative efforts of government and its social partners,” Acting Minister in the Presidency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said.
As the country gradually returned to normalcy, “the ERRP has become a rallying point towards the eventual reconstruction and recovery of all sectors of our economy,” she added.
The projected 3.1% growth follows a period where economic activity decreased by 7.0% in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the high office noted.
“Based on historical data, this was the biggest annual fall in economic activity the country had seen since at least 1946 (a year after World War II).
“Prior to the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, economic activity in South Africa increased by 0.2% in 2019 following an increase of 0.8% in 2018,” the presidency said.
According to the presidency, the annual real gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 0.2% in 2019 was primarily led by increased economic activity in finance, real estate and business services as well as general government and personal services.
The growth projection was attributed to the additional fiscal support in large economies and the global roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines, the presidency said, adding that the country’s own vaccination roll-out programme holds the potential to further uplift and turn the economy around.
“Despite the challenges being experienced globally with access to vaccines, government remains confident that the vaccination roll-out programme will be implemented within the set timelines and in partnership with the private sector,” the presidency said.
Pretoria has secured 30 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, 20 million doses from Pfizer, 12 million doses from Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access and 12 million doses from the African Union.