Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo | JOHANNESBURG

South Africa’s negative economic growth is a risk to fiscal targets and puts pressure on the government to intensify growth programmes as a matter of urgency, the Treasury said on Tuesday.

South Africa entered recession for the first time in eight years, led by weak manufacturing and trade, data from Statistics South Africa showed.

“This worse-than-expected GDP outcome introduces significant downward bias to the GDP growth estimates communicated in the 2017 budget review, which projected 2017 GDP growth at 1.3 percent,” the Treasury said in a statement.

“The current growth rate, if sustained, will lead to a further decline in GDP per capita and revenue, risking the sustainability of our fiscal framework and more importantly undermining the delivery of social services.”

(Reporting by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)