Minister of Finance Malusi Gigaba. File picture: Bongani Shilubane/ANA Pictures

Johannesburg – Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba has committed the government to fight the recession after it was announced by Statistics South Africa.

Gigaba, who was addressing Parliament on Thursday during the adoption of the Appropriations Bill, said the government was on course to reignite growth in the economy.

However, the bigger fight now lay ahead as government has to deal with the recession.

Stats SA announced earlier this week that the economy contracted for the second consecutive quarter.

It first shrunk by 0.3 percent in the fourth quarter of last year, and in the first quarter of 2017/18 the economy contracted by 0.7 percent.

It was the first time since 2009 that the economy went into a recession.

Gigaba said the government has the task of responding swiftly to the challenges of the recession.

He said the South African economy was facing serious challenges and the latest figures by Stats SA did not paint a good picture.

However, the work will begin in earnest to get it back on track.

The South African economy has not been doing well in the past few years.

It last achieved an average of 3.5 percent growth before the 2008 global economic crisis.

Political and Development Hub