South Africa only grows 2.5% last year

Feb 26, 2013, 11:54 AM EST
outh African President Jacob Zuma flanked by Gill Marcus, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank and Pravin Gordhan, South African Finance Minister, holds a bank note to announce a new line of bank notes on February 11, 2012 in Pretoria.
AFP/Getty Images

The continent's largest economy only grew 2.5% in 2012, down from 3.5% the previous year, partly due to the strikes in the country's vital mining sector and gold shafts. South Africa’s economy is expanding at less than half the pace President Jacob Zuma says is necessary to slash a 24.9% jobless rate and reduce widespread poverty. Finance minister Pravin Gordhan will give a key budget speech on Wednesday. He is faced with the choice of raising the country's debt levels or pushing tax hikes.