South Africa has entered its second recession in two years in the final quarter of last year, as agriculture, transport and construction contracted.
Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) said the economy shrank 1.4 per cent in the fourth quarter, following a revised 0.8 per cent contraction in the third quarter.
Economists had predicted a contraction of 0.1 per cent in quarter-on-quarter and seasonally adjusted terms.
On a quarter-on-quarter basis, agriculture declined 7.6 per cent, transport 7.2 per cent, construction 5.9 per cent, the data showed.
South Africa has struggled to emerge from an economic slump in the two years since Cyril Ramaphosa became president, promising sweeping reforms.
The Treasury has cut 2020 economic growth forecast to 0.9 per cent.