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Mboweni to approach World Bank, IMF if SA runs out of funds to fight COVID-19

Following weekend reports that Finance Minister Tito Mboweni would take advantage of any funding made available by the IMF and the World Bank, he said that no talks had started for now.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni in Parliament for his Budget speech on 26 February 2020. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni on Sunday said he would have to approach the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF) if South Africa ran out of funds to fight the coronavirus.

There are at least 1,280 confirmed cases of the virus in South Africa, with two deaths.

As of 29 March 2020, South Africa now has 1,280 coronavirus cases and has recorded 2 deaths. Picture: EWN

The Motsepe, Rupert and Oppenheimer families have pledged R1 billion each to help government tackle the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on the economy.

Following weekend reports that Mboweni would take advantage of any funding made available by the IMF and the World Bank, he said that no talks had started for now.

Mboweni said that if he were to seek funding, he would start with development banks such as the BRICS Bank.

But economist Sifiso Skenjana said seeking funding should not be solely the work of government.

“The virus has certainly set a new tone that businesses ought to come to the table to collaborate or to partner with government to solve the developmental challenges we’re got. So, the opportunity now is making sure that we can crowd in collaboration from businesses, from labour and civil society.”

Skenjana said after the virus was contained, South Africans should not expect the economy to return to normal and should rather expect a new normal.

To track the latest developments around the coronavirus both in South Africa and abroad, click on this live status report from Strategix.

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