The mining, manufacturing, trade and construction sectors teamed up to lead South Africa’s post-coronavirus recovery, registering a 13.5% growth in the third quarter, Statistician General Risenga Maluleke said on Tuesday.This recovery is in response to a negative growth of 51% recorded in the second quarter of 2020 amid the hard lockdown, Maluleke told journalists in Pretoria.
The official said the country’s largest contribution to the increase came from the output of the mining, manufacturing, trade and construction sectors.
He said the four sectors kick-started South Africa’s economy onto its current journey to recovery during the third quarter of 2020 after a seven-month national lockdown imposed in efforts to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic which has taken 22,000 lives since March this year.
Muleke attributed the economy’s rebound to the easing of the pandemic 19 lockdown restrictions, which has freed economic activities to take place nationwide.
“All industries recorded an increase in economic activity compared with the second quarter, with manufacturing, trade and mining and construction leading the charge.
“Businesses were supported by an increase in both exports and household spending as well,” he said, adding that the third quarter, the GDP grew by an estimated 13.5% – giving the economy an annualised growth rate of 66.1%.
While the surge in economic activity in the third quarter might seem impressive, it came off the very low base recorded in the second quarter, Maluleke said.
“South African industries still have a long way to go before reaching levels of production seen before the pandemic,” the official said.
He added: “Despite the rebound, the economy is still 5.8% smaller than it was at the end of 2019.”