'We are allergic to conditionalities' – Mboweni on World Bank loan talks

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Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni.
Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni.
Ziyaad Douglas

Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said that conversations with the World Bank are ongoing to secure a loan to support the country's Covid-19 response – but the country is not willing to take on stringent loan conditions associated with the multilateral institution.

The minister was speaking during a briefing following the tabling of the National Budget on Wednesday.

South Africa has secured a $4.3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund through a rapid financing instrument – which does not come with conditions. It also secured a $1 billion loan from thee New Development Bank and a R5 billion loan from the African Development Bank.

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"The conversations with the World Bank were difficult and were bordering on the impositions of conditionalities. As you know, we are very allergic to conditionalities," Mboweni said. 

"We could not concede to conditions and we had to push back," he added.

The World Bank heard government's concerns and began to develop "a new stream" to access a loan from the bank. "Conversations will continue until we reach an understanding … I think we will probably find each other," he said.

South Africa has prided itself on the fact that it has maintained sovereignty and has a say on its development path.

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