‘SA COVID-19 relief budget could rise to R800 billion’ – Tito Mboweni

President Cyril Ramaphosa's relief budget of R500 billion could ultimately grow to much more than that, according to Mboweni.

‘SA COVID-19 relief budget could rise to R800 billion’ – Tito Mboweni

South Africa will seek coronavirus relief aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank IMF where it is eligible for up to $4.2 billion, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Friday.

“The IMF has indicated themselves that South Africa is entitled to apply for up to $4.2 billion in response to this crisis,” he told a news conference.

“At the World Bank it seems for now we could negotiate for a facility of… maybe between 50 and 60 million (US) dollars – very small, but we will negotiate as much as we can in this regard”.

Relief package could swell

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday announced a “massive” $26 billion relief package to support the economy and vulnerable parts of society during the coronavirus pandemic.

But the finance minister said when everything is put together, the “combined fiscal and monetary policy package” amounted to over R800 billion (US$42.1 billion). 

“This is a major fiscal and monetary policy response, extraordinary!”

With the number of coronavirus cases at 3 953 including 75 deaths, South Africa is the worst affected on the continent.

South Africa’s central bank has forecast that GDP in 2020 will contract by 6.1%, while the IMF has predicted a shrinkage of 5.8%.

By Agence France-Presse

Source : The South African