South Africa on its way to become another Zimbabwe or Venezuela
South Africa has three months left to get its fiscal house in order or risk losing its investment-grade rating.
With the economy stagnating, an unemployment rate that’s stuck at about 30% and the country in danger of losing its sole investment-grade credit rating as the state’s finances deteriorate.South Africa’s public finances are in a perilous state. Economic growth is low or non-existent. The tax revenue collection is repeatedly below forecasts. Debt levels have risen rapidly and are now at their highest levels in the post-apartheid era. And Finally, The poor performance of state-owned enterprises is necessitating large-scale government support.What this country is going through is a stagnant economy, high youth unemployment rates, a highly charged political landscape and widespread inequality .
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Following a review of South Africa, Moody’s Investors Service on Friday revised the country’s outlook from stable to negative, citing a slow pace of economic reforms.
Last Wednesday, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni tabled a medium-term budget policy statement that painted a grim picture of South Africa’s finances. By the finance minister’s estimates, the country is heading into a debt trap.
Over the past decade, South Africa’s public finances have come under more and more strain. The days when the economy was growing and former finance minister Trevor Manuel brought baskets of fruit to parliament have been replaced by declines in the size of the economy per person and rising unemployment. This was symbolized earlier this year when finance minister Tito Mboweni brought a few drought-resistant bitter aloes to his budget speech.
The World Bank has cut South Africa’s growth forecast for 2019 through to 2021, citing weak investor sentiment and lingering policy uncertainty.
Growth for 2019 is now projected at 0.8%, half a percentage point lower than April’s forecast and unchanged from 2018, according to the bank’s October Africa’s Pulse report.
The Absa Manufacturing PMI dipped to 41.6 in September from 25.7 in August, the second consecutive sharp decline in factory activity, and South Africa’s most significant in a decade.
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Economists are in agreement a lack of political will, as identified by Moody’s, is an impediment to the much-needed reforms.
Part of the Moody’s report reads, “In the last two years, it has become apparent constraints are challenging the government’s ability to implement reforms .”
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