South Africa’s economy, the most industrialised in Africa, collapsed by 51% between April and June in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the country’s statistics agency.
An unprecedented decline in GDP was anticipated as the national lockdown on March 27th imposed to curb the spread of the new coronavirus, saw limited population movement to the detriment of economic activity.
By Junee’s end, the economy had already shrunk by 2% mainly due to the decline in activity of the mine and manufacturing industries. limiting the movement of the population to the detriment of most economic activities — which fell by 21.5% and 8.5% respectively during this period.
The agriculture, forestry and fishery sector was the only economic upswing, with a 15% increase between April and June.
The statistics agency did not publish unemployment data for the second quarter, but it is likely that the unemployment rate increased significantly compared to the first quarter when it was at 30.1%.
In April, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government announced a stimulus package of nearly 30 billion USD, including a wage protection programme and a special social subsidy for the most financially challenged South Africans.
In July, the country received a 4.3 billion USD emergency loan from the International Monetary Fund.