Cabinet, SARB downplay talk of SA approaching IMF amid economic crisis

Jackson Mthembu. Image credit: Twitter/Jackson Mthembu

Cabinet is not considering approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance amid the country’s worsening economic crisis.

This is according to Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu.

Mthembu was briefing the media on Thursday morning on the outcomes of the Cabinet meeting held on Wednesday.

The economy contracted by 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019, the worst such contraction in 10 years.

Statistics South Africa later revealed that South Africa’s unemployment rate sits at 29 percent, the highest since 2008.

Furthermore, the government has been forced to table a Special Appropriation Bill to raise more money to bail out state power utility Eskom.

This has raised fears of a downgrade by credit rating agency Moody’s.

Minister Mthembu was however categorical that government has “no appetite” for approaching the IMF.

There’s no appetite and actually, no need. But I can assure you, there is a need for us to be prudent with our financial management.

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu

Mthembu’s statement was echoed by Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago.

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, he similarly said South Africa “isn’t there yet” as far as approaching IMF is concerned.

We don’t have to get there. These problems are within our grasp; we know exactly what must be done. We know the trade-offs that must be made, we must make those trade-offs.

Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago

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