South Africa’s Bold COVID-19 Rescue Plan

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced a $26.3bn rescue package, equivalent to 10 percent of the gross domestic product of his country, to try to cushion the economic blow of the coronavirus pandemic. “The pandemic requires an economic response that is equal to the scale of the disruption it is causing,” he said in an address on national television on Tuesday, pledging to “address the extreme decline in supply and demand and to protect jobs”. Ramaphosa said South Africa had approached global financial institutions like the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the BRICS New Development Bank and the African Development Bank, primarily to fund healthcare interventions. The rest of the package would be financed by a mix of $6.9 bn of reprioritised spending and other local sources. Among the measures were $10.6bn in loan guarantees in partnership with the central bank, finance ministry and commercial banks, and tax deferral for firms with more than $5.3m turnover.


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