Reflecting on the impact that the COVID-19 pandemic and related lockdown has had on the South African economy, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said the recent economic decline and job losses, in conjunction with the country’s “recent fiscal weakness” should not be allowed to “turn into a sovereign debt crisis”.
He was speaking during the tabling of the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement in Parliament at the end of October.
According to Mboweni, the economy was expected to contract by 7,8% this year, and the 2021 outlook was even more uncertain due to the pandemic, which had “led to a steep economic decline and accelerated the deterioration of the public finances”. National Treasury did, however, predict a return to real GDP growth of 3,3% in 2021, and an average growth rate of 2,1% per year over the three-year forecast period up to 2023/2024, but added that a second wave of COVID-19 infections, accompanied by new restrictions on economic activity, would have significant implications for the outlook.
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