'SA not considering any IMF bailout at this point'

Treasury official Michael Sachs says SA can sustain its borrowing requirements through access to deep and liquid domestic markets.

FILE: Deputy Director General at National Treasury Michael Sachs. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

CAPE TOWN - South Africa has yet to reach the point where a bailout by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) might become necessary.

Treasury official Michael Sachs was speaking to reporters after briefing Parliament’s finance committees on Friday.

Earlier he told MPs the nearly R51 billion revenue shortfall was unprecedented and that the only way the country can get out of a debt trap is through growing the economy.

Sachs says South Africa can sustain its borrowing requirements through access to “deep and liquid domestic markets and most of the debt is in rand”.

“So, we don’t foresee a situation where we are unable to access markets and issue debt over the medium term.”

But he’s warned the situation is dynamic and that financial markets can behave in unpredictable ways – especially if efforts to get the economy growing and stabilise the debt to GDP ratio fail.

Asked if the government was even close to going to the IMF for a bailout, Sachs said: “We’re not considering any IMF bailout at this point, it’s not necessary.”

Earlier, he told MPs that an IMF delegation met with Treasury this week.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)