ANC worries over elections as South Africa slips into recession

The chairperson of the ANC’s subcommittee on economic transformation Enoch Godongwana has admitted that the ruling party is worried about going into the 2019 national elections while the country’s reeling from an economic recession.

He made the comments to journalists at an impromptu media briefing at the ANC’s Luthuli House headquarters in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

South Africa officially entered a technical recession after Statistics South Africa announced on Tuesday that the country’s real gross domestic product had decreased by 0.7% in the second quarter of the year.

“No party would be happy going into an election in a recessionary mode, not at all,” said Godongwana.

“There is a body of evidence globally that suggests there is a correlation between electoral success and economic performance so in that environment there is no party that would not take that into account,” he said.

Godongwana said the party was calling for a shared vision and collective action in creating jobs and growing the country’s ailing economy.

He also reiterated the outcomes of the party’s July lekgotla for its government to take “immediate, concrete and bold steps to lift the rate of growth and its inclusivity by activating micro-economic policy tools, institutional efficiencies and specific sector interventions” to mitigate effects of a contracting economy.

However, Godongwana admitted that although there were interventions the party believed could avert a complete recession, it remained worried about the rate of implementation.

“This kind of worry about implementation is a major issue, we ourselves are debating that implementation is a key constraint because there is no lack of policy,” Godongwana told journalists.

He said the economic transformation committee had recently established an accountability framework in a bid to make sure those deployed to government account to the party.

“It’s the only way we can solve this problem and make sure that decisions we make in meetings are implemented,” said Godongwana.

“For instance: If you take the land issue, if we implemented the 1992 resolution, the ready to govern… on the land question, we would not be debating it today,” he said.


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