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Mboweni: SA’s structural economic reforms not similar to IMF loan conditions

The minister was speaking during a meeting of Parliament’s finance committees on Tuesday when he defended the decision to consider the IMF’s $4.2 billion loan facility for COVID-19 specific purposes.

FILE: Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG - Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has once again tried to allay fears over the nature of structural reform conditions, which the International Monetary Fund (IMF) could set up for South Africa.

The minister was speaking during a meeting of parliament’s finance committees on Tuesday when he defended the decision to consider the IMF’s $4.2 billion loan facility for COVID-19 specific purposes.

Mboweni told lawmakers that South Africa was already on its path of structural reforms, which should not be misconstrued to be conditions of the IMF.

Instead, he referred them to Treasury’s economic strategy document that was published last year making various proposals on how to restructure the economy, which has since been endorsed by government.

“This is totally different from the classic IMF structural reform programme. So, we must not confuse the two. We are talking about our own structural reform programme to promote economic dynamism in our economy,” Mboweni said.

He also explained that Treasury was still working on the augmented budget to include the reallocation and reprioritisation of funds from departments to COVID-19 related programmes.

Government has allocated over R500 billion to various relief funds to cushion the impact of the pandemic and is now scrambling to raise the committed balance.

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.