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Parliament to debate recession, fuel price hikes

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Parliament to debate recession, fuel price hikes

12th September 2018

By: News24Wire

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Parliament will debate record fuel prices and ideas for economic revival on Wednesday afternoon. 

Last week Stats SA announced that South Africa had slipped into a technical recession - defined as two successive quarters of negative economic growth - for the first time since 2009. 

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The Democratic Alliance (DA), who asked for the economic revival debate, said on Monday the recession was not caused by negative global economic conditions, but was the "home-grown" result of mismanagement and bad policy. 

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has proposed the State adopt a seven point recovery plan, which includes scrapping the proposed nationalisation of the SA Reserve Bank and expropriation without compensation, partially privatising loss-making State-owned enterprises, and easing labour legislation on small businesses, among other proposals. 

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The African National Congress (ANC), meanwhile, called for an "immediate stimulus package" to kick-start growth in the wake of the announcement that SA was in a recession. This would include tax credits for companies that invest in 'sustainable job creation', boosting localisation procurement spend, cutting red tape and improving infrastructure maintenance – specifically on roads.

The Economic Freedom Fighters, meanwhile, has blamed the economic downturn on the ANC allowing the economy to "degenerate at the hands of a greedy private sector".

Stimulus package 

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene, who would play an important role in administering a stimulus package, said earlier in the week that a cabinet-level stimulus package to reignite economic growth would be announced in October.

Nene has said he wants the package to be finalised before he delivers his medium-term budget policy statement at the end of October. He has not yet said what it contains, but has argued that reforms to areas such as agriculture, competition policy, telecoms and tourism could boost growth by two to three percentage points. 

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