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Financial Mail - - YOU SAID... - Toby Chance

Your ar­ti­cle on SA’S town­ship econ­omy (Cover Story, Au­gust 30-Septem­ber 5) con­tains glar­ing sta­tis­ti­cal con­tra­dic­tions that the writer ei­ther glosses over or re­lies on to build an ar­gu­ment, lead­ing to con­fu­sion in this reader at least.

We are made to be­lieve that town­ships, where 40% of South Africans live, have a spend­ing power of R11bn, or 0.58% of to­tal con­sumer spend­ing of R1.9-tril­lion in

2017 for SA as a whole. If that is hardly cred­i­ble, we are then told that SA’S in­for­mal econ­omy, which ex­ists mainly in town­ships, ac­counts for 25% of GDP, which in 2017 amounted to R4.1-tril­lion. That’s about R1-tril­lion. Some­thing has to give.

As the old adage goes, there are lies, damned lies and sta­tis­tics. FM writ­ers should in­ter­ro­gate the sta­tis­tics they re­port on in­stead of un­ques­tion­ingly re­gur­gi­tat­ing them.

DA shadow min­is­ter for small busi­ness de­vel­op­ment

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