South Africa’s long mooted economic reforms have been slow to materialize. The economy had fallen into recession even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and had been stripped of its international investment grade rating. The reserve bank is now forecasting a contraction in GDP of over seven percent for 2020.
There are significant questions around the role of the state in the economy, the level of intervention, and its affordability, with key government figures sceptical of rapid market reforms. The mandate and independence of the South African Reserve Bank has also been a subject of public debate. The IMF has approved a US$4.3 billion emergency financial assistance package to help mitigate the health and economic shock to the country. But it has also made clear that there is a pressing need to ensure debt sustainability and implement structural reforms to support recovery and achieve sustainable and inclusive growth.
At this event, Lesetja Kganyago, the governor of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), gives his assessment of the expected trajectory of the South African economy in the short and medium term. He discusses the IMF package and the implications for economic reform, and the role of the reserve bank in delivering sustainable and inclusive growth.
Governor Lesetja Kganyago, Governor, South African Reserve Bank (SARB)
Chair: Christopher Vandome, Research Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House