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SA seeking additional R95 bln for fight against COVID-19

The country has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and African Development Bank to source funding that will contribute to its R500 billion rescue package.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: @TreasurySA/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG – With South Africa looking to open parts of the economy next week, government is seeking R95 billion from multilateral lenders to help in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The country has approached the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, and African Development Bank to source funding that will contribute to its R500 billion rescue package.

The stimulus is aimed at cushioning the impact of the coronavirus on businesses and poor households.

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni earlier this week said South Africa is entitled to a maximum of $65 billion in funding from the IMF, the World Bank and the Brics bank.

Reuters is reporting that the emergency funds on offer will come with no requirement for a structural adjustment programme from the IMF.

Mboweni played down worries that the money would come with onerous conditions.

SARB TO INVEST R300 BLN TO BOOST BATTERED SA ECONOMY

Mboweni said, with the additional R300 billion from the South African Reserve Bank, the combined fiscal and monetary policy package to keep the economy running amid the COVID-19 crisis now amounts to R800 billion.

He said the R800 billion will bring additional life into the country’s financial system, keeping it oiled as we battle the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It doesn’t mean that these are funds in the hands of the fiscus. But this will be funding in an economic system.”

Government has had to raise funds through budget reallocations and re-prioritisations.