Ramaphosa Says South Africa Can’t Afford Virus Relief Indefinitely

The grants and unemployment benefits introduced to help people and businesses withstand the economic downturn that was exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic can’t de sustained indefinitely, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his weekly letter.

“We need to make sure that these relief measures provide a firm foundation for a broader recovery without driving the country deeper into debt,” Ramaphosa said in the letter posted to the presidency’s website. “Unless we can bring our national debt down to sustainable levels, no meaningful economic recovery will be possible.”

Government will need to make hard decisions on public spending this year, he said, just days before Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is due to give his budget speech.

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