South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa
South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa

South Africa slipped into recession in the final three months of 2019, the country's statistics bureau said on Tuesday, the third recession to hit the country since the end of apartheid in 1994.

Gross domestic product fell by 1.4% in the quarter, after dropping by 0.8% in the previous three months, Statistics South Africa said.

This took South Africa's growth for all of 2019 to just 0.2%, its lowest reading since the global financial crisis in 2009.

Weak agriculture output and transport were the main drags on growth, StatsSA said, followed by construction, mining and manufacturing, which outweighed positive contributions from finance and government spending.

Recession is defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

South Africa previously went into recession in 2008/2009 and then again in 2018.

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