Labour unrest and incessant power shortages are the main contributors to South Africa’s slow growth prospects; this is according to the World Bank’s biannual Africa Pulse report.
“On-going power and infrastructure bottlenecks compounded by difficult labour relations weighed heavily on growth, although a drought in agriculture also contributed to the fall in output in the second quarter,” said the World Bank in a statement.
“South Africa has seen deceleration in growth due to the slump in commodity prices which has been sharp with other economic drivers also down such as consumption and rise in electricity costs,” World Bank’s lead economist Catriona Mary Purfield added.
The report also said, recovery in South Africa faced challenges of weak commodity prices, high rates of unemployment, on-going power and infrastructure constrains and policy uncertainty.
The international financial institution said South Africa’s real GDP growth is forecasted to remain hamstrung at 2 per cent and expected to slowly strengthen to 2.4 per cent in 2017.
Other African economies, also, heavily dependent on commodities have seen a drop in their growth outlook. However, the Bank says the drop in commodity prices present opportunities for diversification.
“The end of the commodity super cycle poses an opportunity for African countries to reinvigorate their reform efforts and thereby transform their economies and diversity sources of growth,” said Makhtar Diop, World Bank Vice President for Africa.
According to the Bank, growth in the sub-Saharan Africa region was projected to reach its lowest ebb since 2009.
“Growth will slow in 2015 to 3.7 per cent from 4.6 per cent in 2014, reaching the lowest growth rate since 2009,” the World Bank added.
The Bank however allayed fears saying; overall growth in the region was projected to average 4.4 per cent in 2016, strengthening to 4.8 per cent in 2017.