The IMF has warned that SA’s prospects remain uncertain in the lead up to the 2019 elections, and has slashed the county’s growth forecast almost in half. In its October World Economic Outlook, it revised down 2018’s forecast to 0.8% from 1.5%. The growth forecast for 2019 was also revised down from 1.7% to 1.4%. Ahead of the medium-term budget policy statement at the end of October, the IMF said: “A gradual and growth-friendly fiscal consolidation will be needed to strengthen public finances, focusing on wage savings and complemented by measures to boost efficiency of other current spending, including through better targeting of education subsidies and the rationalisation of transfers to public entities.”

The IMF also welcomed recent reforms such as measures to tackle corruption and strengthen procurement, and the intention to eliminate wasteful expenditure. “However, further reforms are needed to increase policy certainty, improve the efficiency of state-owned enterprises, e...

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