Politics wreaked havoc on SA economy - Gareth Ackerman

17 October 2018 - 10:14 By Nick Hedley
Gareth Ackerman. File photo
Gareth Ackerman. File photo
Image: Hetty Zantman

Pick n Pay chairman Gareth Ackerman says the private sector needs to step out of the shadows and do what it can to halt the damage politicians have been inflicting on the economy.

Ackerman‚ whose father Raymond founded Pick n Pay more than 50 years ago‚ said on Tuesday that politics had "wreaked havoc on the economy and we must endeavour to not let the run-up to the [2019] election do any more damage".

"Business’s voice has been mute for too long‚ the truth of it is that the economy has run out of road‚" he said.

SA slid into recession in the first half of 2018 for the first time in nearly a decade despite strong global growth‚ while unemployment rose to 27.2%‚ from 21.5% in 2008.

A report by the Bureau for Economic Research found that SA’s economy could have been up to 30%‚ or R1-trillion‚ larger and created 2.5-million more jobs‚ had the country kept pace with its peers over the past decade.

Had former president Jacob Zuma’s regime not robbed the economy of its potential‚ the government could also have collected R1-trillion more in taxes‚ the report says.

"The role of business has never been more important as we face recession and flat economic growth‚" Ackerman said‚ alluding to the country’s "serious" unemployment crisis.

Business Day