Alliance partners, the ANC and the SACP, have welcomed Finance Minister Tito Mboweni’s latest statement that South Africa would not consider international funding which would be accompanied by a structural adjustment programme.
Mboweni says government has told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it was looking for COVID-19-specific packages that it could access. He was addressing the media via teleconference on Tuesday.
“The IMF has released a basic Q&A on the kinds of facilities which are available at IMF. We are not looking for budget support. we would be looking for the COVID-19 specific packages that we can access, and we are talking to them about that. We are looking at programmes which would not be accompanied by any structural adjustment programme. We know what to do. We know what our structural reform programme is. We will not be looking into that at all,” Mboweni said on Tuesday.
However, Cosatu has called for a thorough consultation with all social partners before the National Treasury can seek relief from international funding institutions including the IMF as a result of the financial crisis brought on by COVID-19. This is despite Mboweni’s earlier insistence that South Africa would not consider international funding which would be accompanied by a structural adjustment programme.
Cosatu spokeperson Sizwe Pamela says they don’t trust the National Treasury as it has dismally failed to honour its promises in the past.
This is an about-turn by Mboweni as in March, he announced that the country would approach the IMF and the World Bank for relief from a financial crisis brought on by COVID-19.
In the video below, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni says SA may seek assistance from the IMF and the World Bank to fight COVID-19:
But the ANC tripartite alliance, at the time, issued a strong-worded statement against him, saying this would lead to the sovereignty of the country and its policy direction being compromised by conditions attached to the loans.
In the video below, the tripartite alliance says that it is concerned and rejects Mboweni’s decision to approach the IMF and World Bank for assistance in fighting COVID-19:
SACP spokesperson Dr Alex Mashilo says in as much as they don’t agree with the IMF, they are satisfied at the minister’s stance.
Meanwhile, the ANC has also welcomed Mboweni’s decision to insist in doing away with the conditions attached to loans from international funding institutions.
ANC Spokesperson Pule Mabe implored members of the alliance to give the minister the support he needs as the country grapples to curb the spread of the COVID-19 and re-ignite the economy that is already in a technical recession.