However‚ he said he was confident the economic picture would look different in the next quarter of the year.
“It’s disappointing that our GDP has shown a negative growth trend… but I don’t think we should be disheartened because it was largely driven by agriculture. At the agricultural level we had late rains‚ late harvest and I am sure that agriculture will bounce up and show growth in the next quarter‚ so all is not lost‚” said Ramaphosa.
“I don’t believe that a full recession will take hold in South Africa. Our economy is facing its own challenges that we have to respond to (and) government is going to be responding to the challenges that we’re facing. We’re finalising a stimulus package that we’ll be announcing to inject impetus and growth into our economy at a number of levels.”
Ramaphosa said he was confident the announcement would lift the mood in the country‚ as well as investment prospects and GDP growth.
His visit to China‚ he said‚ had boosted his drive to get local and international businesses to invest at least R1.3-trillion in the South African economy in the next five years.
He described his visit as a success‚ saying relations between Beijing and Pretoria had entered a golden era following frank discussions on what needed to be done to resolve the trade imbalance between the two countries.
China is South Africa’s largest trading partner‚ with bilateral trading amounting to $39.17-billion last year‚ but largely in favour of the Chinese.