Mr Speaker, the Business Day, in its editorial yesterday, reflected on the latest Reserve Bank quarterly report with the headline: "It tells a gloomy story".
However, there was some good news indicating a pick-up in private sector fixed investment. The private sector investment makes up more than two thirds of total investment spending. Let us hope this grows in the next quarter.
The worrying news is that the current account deficit came in at more than 6,5%, well above the forecasts! The trade deficit is rapidly growing and we have not benefited from a weaker rand. Add to that the state of financial flows in and out of South Africa - how much they have turned for the worse - and the fact that foreign investors are dumping our bonds, is bad. The message is simple, says Business Day: "South Africa is very vulnerable to external shocks."
The point is that some of us and some unions are adding to this vulnerability. We need mature leadership from all, now! Even the Cabinet lekgotla acknowledged that the fate of the South African economy is in our own hands. Amcu must realise this and must come on board. We should not allow cheap electioneering around the economy to drive us to the brink of a possible downgrade. Let us all be very cautious.