In response to a sombre assessment of the economy by the IMF, the government has reiterated its commitment to reducing debt, ensuring fiscal sustainability and tackling policy uncertainty to attract investment. The IMF acknowledged in its annual Article IV report on the SA economy on Monday that while things were improving, huge challenges remained. It highlighted several impediments to growth, including policy uncertainty and regulatory overreach that hindered private investment, inefficient state-owned enterprises (SOEs), labour rigidities, insufficient competition and corruption. The IMF is also concerned about the rapid increase in public debt, which has doubled as a share of GDP over the past decade to 53% in 2017, and is set to continue climbing over the medium term. This has depleted fiscal buffers and constrained fiscal policy space. The fund suggested the government implement a more realistic expenditure ceiling or add a debt ceiling to curb the debt trajectory. Though the ...

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