Johannesburg: The South African economy is slowing more sharply than expected this year and is expected to expand by 2.1 percent instead of 2.7 percent, South Africa`s Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said on Wednesday.
"We now expect growth of about 2.1 percent in the South African economy this year," Gordhan told lawmakers, revising an earlier forecast of 2.7 percent.
South Africa has the biggest economy in Africa, but the latest figure is less than half of sub-Saharan Africa`s anticipated five percent and also falls below the global projection of 2.9 percent.
South Africa`s growth has been sluggish, falling to 2.5 percent last year and from 3.5 percent in 2011.
Presenting his medium-term budget policy statement to parliament, Gordhan said the budget deficit would be 4.2 percent and that of the current account would hit 6.5 percent.
A raft of belt-tightening measures reining in government perks was announced to cut costs and target wasteful spending and abuse.
Coming in the wake of several high-profile scandals, these will include restrictions on flights, car hire, accommodation, catering, entertainment and conference spending.
First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013, 18:33