South Africa’s economy is projected to shrink by 7.2% this year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the deepest slump in 90 years.
Presenting a supplementary budget in parliament, Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni said the pandemic has pushed the country’s consolidated budget, including debt servicing costs, to a record of more than two trillion rand.
South Africa’s economy, the most developed in the continent, had already slipped into recession in the final quarter of 2019 before the virus arrived.
The lockdown pushed the annual rate of inflation in April to a 15-year low of 3%, mainly due to an 11.1% drop in fuel prices.
The pandemic prompted President Cyril Ramaphosa to impose a strict lockdown, which kicked in on March 27 and has gradually been eased in phases since May 1 to allow economic activity to pick up.
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