The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved SA’s first ever request for emergency aid, granting the country a $4.3bn (R70bn) loan towards mitigating  the social and economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The approach to the IMF has been fraught with tension as the ANC and its alliance partners have been insistent that SA should not agree to any onerous conditions that they said would compromise its sovereignty. Such conditionality usually comes with programmes for countries that have balance of payments problems and are meant to ensure they overcome their problems and earn enough to be able to repay IMF loans.

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