IOL / 17 OCTOBER 2018 - 16:00 / SAMKELO MTSHALI
Durban - Widespread policy uncertainty, corruption and mismanagement of state resources over the past decade have resulted in South Africa losing R1 trillion in potential investments - and have contributed towards a slowdown in gross domestic product (GDP) growth.
This is the gloomy assessment of the Bureau for Economic Research (BER) on the country’s economic underperformance during the decade of rule by former president Jacob Zuma.
Economist Dawie Roodt said when Zuma took over the reins as president, the global economic crisis presented him and his “destructive forces” with the perfect opportunity to “get their claws into” SOEs, because at the time everyone’s attention was on the financial crisis. Picture: DOC/GCIS, GCIS, KOPANO TLAPE
In its report titled Ten years after the Lehman collapse: South Africa’s post-crisis performance in perspective, BER economist Harri Kemp said South Africa had underperformed in its GDP growth in relation to other emerging markets and average global growth.
“Based on relatively simple assumptions, it is determined that domestic real GDP could have been between 10% and 30% higher by 2017,” Kemp said.
“Under the assumption that the domestic growth trajectory matched that of our emerging market peers, the real GDP would have been 29.3% (R915 billion) higher.”
Kemp said the period between 2010 and last year amounted to “lost years” for South Africa. He said there was an overlap between political uncertainty and the Zuma administration, with factors such as the delay of the implementation of the mining charter, the controversial visa regulations and the unfounded rumours of a rogue unit at Sars contributing towards poor economic performance.
Economist Dawie Roodt said when Zuma took over the reins as president, the global economic crisis presented him and his “destructive forces” with the perfect opportunity to “get their claws into” SOEs, because at the time everyone’s attention was on the financial crisis.
“The financial crisis started the trouble for South Africa, but without a doubt it was exacerbated by the whole Zuma cabal,” he said.
“The destruction it has caused the economy is absolutely horrible.”
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER