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It’s Official: South Africa Is in Recession and COVID-19 Is Making Things Much Worse

The South African government confirmed what investors had long suspected: the economy slipped into recession at the end of last year. New GDP data released on Tuesday by Stats SA reveals the economy is officially in recession and growing at the slowest rate since the financial crisis ten years ago.

The situation will likely deteriorate further now that South Africa’s largest trading partner, China, is effectively closed for business due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, putting enormous pressure on the country’s exporters.

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The CAP is passionately independent, non-partisan and does not advocate for any country, company or culture.


A carefully curated selection of the day’s most important China-Africa stories. Updated 24 hours a day by human editors. No bots, no algorithms.


Diverse, often unconventional insights from scholars, analysts, journalist and a variety of stakeholders in the China-Africa discourse.


A unique professional network of China-Africa scholars, analysts, journalists and other practioners from around the world.