Treasury to allocate last R45bn of virus stimulus in October

Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, addresses the media during the 2020 National Budget Press Conference in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Ziyaad Douglas)
Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni, addresses the media during the 2020 National Budget Press Conference in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Ziyaad Douglas)
Gallo Images/Ziyaad Douglas
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R500 billion Covid-19 package in April but the supplementary budget did not allocate the whole amount.
  • National Treasury says the stimulus package will remain R500 billion.
  • It will allocate the remainder of the package in the medium-term budget


National Treasury will begin allocating the remaining R45 billion rand of a coronavirus-relief package in October.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a R500 billion Covid-19 package April, the National Treasury only outlined plans to spend R455 billion in a special adjustment budget presented last month. The plans for the remainder will be outlined in the October medium-term budget policy statement and the February budget review.

Pressures in some departments, including those previously earmarked for budget reductions after Ramaphosa’s announcement, "the lack of readiness of certain projects, such as the job-creation program, and a further deterioration in the fiscal position after the president’s announcement, resulted in adjustments to the announced intervention,” the National Treasury said in an emailed response to questions.

The total stimulus package will remain at R500 billion, even though the supplementary budget process identified only R145 billion for immediate allocation, the Treasury said. The new grants will require a further reprioritization of spending, it added.

"The Treasury has taken a prudent approach to the budget by making allocations in line with credible plans and in a manner designed to mitigate the significantly worsened fiscal situation," it said.

South Africa’s gross domestic product will probably contract 7.2% in 2020, the most in almost nine decades, due to the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions put in place to curb its spread. The consolidated budget deficit is expected to surge to 15.7% of GDP this year and gross debt-to-GDP is likely to peak at 87.4% in 2023-24, according to government estimates.

Africa’s most-industrialized economy is counting on U$7 billion (about R12 billion) from multilateral lenders and development finance institutions to support its response to the pandemic. So far, only the New Development Bank, which serves the BRICS nations, has approved a U$1 billion facility. The country asked the International Monetary Fund for a US$4.2 billion loan at the end of April and plans to request up to US$2 billion from the World Bank.

ZAR/USD
17.46
(-0.34)
ZAR/GBP
22.88
(-0.53)
ZAR/EUR
20.62
(-0.17)
ZAR/AUD
12.48
(-0.23)
ZAR/JPY
0.16
(-0.53)
Gold
1946.09
(-0.55)
Silver
26.65
(-2.87)
Platinum
947.00
(-1.30)
Brent Crude
45.01
(-1.03)
Palladium
2142.46
(-1.27)
All Share
57014.86
(-0.70)
Top 40
52701.00
(-0.72)
Financial 15
10059.05
(-1.64)
Industrial 25
74911.84
(-1.10)
Resource 10
59190.80
(+0.05)
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes morningstar logo
Company Snapshot
Voting Booth
Do you think it was a good idea for the government to approach the IMF for a $4.3 billion loan to fight Covid-19?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes. We need the money.
11% - 995 votes
It depends on how the funds are used.
74% - 6688 votes
No. We should have gotten the loan elsewhere.
15% - 1402 votes
Vote