Desperate senior government officials from Zimbabwe met the South African government a day after Christmas and asked for help with a bailout. The delegation, led by Zimbabwe's finance minister, Mthuli Ncube, is understood to have sought $1.2bn in aid. Zimbabwe faces an economic crisis which has resulted in the price of petrol increasing by 150% from R19 a litre to R41, the highest in the world. Riots broke out this week against the increased costs. Inflation in November was 31%, the latest figure available. Independent estimates have put the rate at more than 100% in real terms. Teachers and doctors are picketing for salary increases. The December meeting had been attended by South African Reserve Bank governor Lesetja Kganyago and deputy governor Daniel Mminele, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor John Mangudya and permanent secretary in the Zimbabwe ministry of finance & economic development, George Guvamatanga. National Treasury director-general Dondo Mogajane told Business Times t...

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