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No IMF loan for SA - Lagarde

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde says she has been assured by President Cyril Ramaphosa that the country’s economy is improving.

President Cyril Ramaphosa receiving a courtesy call from IMF managing director Christine Lagarde as part of her Africa trip on 19 December 2018. Picture: GCIS

PRETORIA - International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde has shot down any speculation that she is in the country to offer financial assistance.

This comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa is trying to woo international institutions to invest billions in South Africa’s economy over the next five years.

Lagarde held a media briefing in Pretoria with Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago on Wednesday afternoon.

As Ramaphosa looks to attract over $100 billion into the economy in the next five years, he won’t be seeing a cent from the IMF.

Lagarde says a loan to South Africa is currently not on the cards.

“And I’m confident that President Ramaphosa has his eyes on the right objectives and is very focused on what he wants to develop for the country, together with his team.”

Lagarde is currently on her bi-annual African economies tour.

Asked if the IMF would assist Eskom if approached, Lagarde said: “Easy, the answer is no, absolutely not. Because we only deal with members and no private or public company as part of the IMF.”

Lagarde says she has been assured by the president that the country’s economy is improving.

IMPORTANT TO ROOT OUT CORRUPTION

She says she has been assured by Ramaphosa's administration that the country is working hard to root out corruption.

Lagarde says the public purse needs to be used to benefit the programmes for which it has been earmarked to in order to stimulate growth.

The IMF boss says she understands the country’s position on land expropriation without compensation.

“…How to make that principal effective, practical, reasonably well accepted despite the difficulty of those who will eventually have to relinquish some of their current title assets.”

Lagarde also touched on the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

She says it is important that corruption is rooted out and that public confidence is restored in public institutions.

“It is critically important to have institutions that are strong, have depth and determination to actually conduct that kind of exercise; eliminating leakages.”

Lagarde says the IMF will monitor South Africa efforts to rehabilitate the economy.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)

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