ANC calls for immediate stimulus package as economy dips into recession

ANC. (News24, File)
ANC. (News24, File)

The ANC has called for ‘aggressiveness’ in implementing an economic recovery package after Stats SA announced on Tuesday that SA had slipped into its first technical recession since 2009

In a statement on Wednesday, the party’s subcommittee on economic transformation said government should immediately institute a stimulus package. 

Among the policy interventions that the party proposed are tax credits for companies that invest in 'sustainable job creation', an increase in localisation procurement spend, cutting red tape and improving infrastructure maintenance – specifically on roads.

The party also called for “agricultural support packages” to “boost economic growth and food security" without providing details on what these would include or who the beneficiaries would be. 

It called for a boost to the extended public works programmes, improving trade with Africa and bringing down the cost of data.

The party did not cost any of the proposed interventions.  

"These interventions do not necessarily require the development of new policies, but rather the effective implementation of existing ones," Enoch Godongwana said in a statement on behalf of the party. 

"The interventions should be focused on a limited number of priorities, to ensure that the committed resources are utilised effectively and efficiently."

Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene said a stimulus package was in the works, which he hoped would be ready before he delivered his medium-term budget policy statement to Parliament in late October. 

He did give detailed information regarding what the package would contain. 

Opposition party the Democratic Alliance, in a statement, blamed ANC "corruption, policy incoherence, crumbling SOEs (state-owned enterprises), lack of investment, and unstable governance" for the two successive quarters of negative economic growth, and proposed Parliament should debate how to grow the economy. 

The Economic Freedom Fighters, meanwhile, blamed the ANC for allowing the economy to "degenerate at the hands of a greedy private sector," adding that faith in "so-called markets" was misplaced. 

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