According to Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), the South African economy has already contracted by 2% in the first quarter.
Risenga Maluleke, the statistician general, released the latest figures on Tuesday.
The mining industry shrank by 21.5% and contributed 1.7% to gross domestic product (GDP). StatsSA says production in the iron ore, manganese ore, other metals and chromium has declined.
The manufacturing industry contracted by 8.5% in the first quarter and seven of the ten manufacturing divisions experienced negative growth in the first quarter. Petroleum, chemical products, metal products and machinery, rubber and plastic products, basic iron and steel and motor vehicles were some of the biggest contributors to the decline.
The electricity, gas and water industries contracted by 5.6% in the first quarter, according to StatsSA largely due to the decline in electricity distribution and water use.
The building industry also shrank by 4.7%.
Agriculture, forestry and fisheries fared better and experienced 27.8% growth. This contributed 0.5% to GDP growth. StatsSA says the increase is largely due to increases in field crop production, horticulture and animal production.
Financial, real estate and business services increased 3.7% in the first quarter.
General government services grew by 1%, mainly due to an increase in employment with provincial governments and higher education institutions. Government spending increased by 1.1% in the first quarter and there was an increase in employment and spending on goods and services.
Household spending fell 0.7% in the first quarter, contributing 0.4% to overall GDP growth. The largest positive contributors to household expenses were food and non-alcoholic beverages, furniture, home appliances, maintenance, housing and utility bills.
However, people spent less money on transport, clothing and shoes.
Exports fell 2.3% in the first quarter and imports were down 16.7%.
The news comes about a week after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced his modified budget speech in response to the Covid 19 pandemic. Treasury expects South Africa’s economy to shrink by up to 7.2% this year, although many economists predict an even greater slump.
StatsSA also announced the results of its quarterly workforce survey last week. According to the survey, 7.1 million South Africans, more than 30% of people, did not work at this stage.
So far, the effects of the state-wide seclusion imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic on employment have not been reflected in those figures and could follow an employment bloodbath. The full extent of the seclusion period is expected to become apparent first in the second and third quarters.