IMF loan requires extra transparency – GHL

DA MP says loan a signal of frailty of our economy following years of mismanagement, bad policy and corruption

IMF loan requires extra accountability and transparency measures

28 July 2020

The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) approval of a US$4.3 billion loan to South Africa is a watershed moment for our country. This is the first time since before 1994 that we have had to resort to IMF borrowing, and is a profound signal of the frailty of our economy following years of mismanagement, bad policy and corruption.

The loan comes amidst growing evidence of a pervasive corrupt feeding frenzy by ANC ‘covidpreneurs’ who are stealing Covid-19 relief funds.

It is essential that the National Treasury is completely transparent about the disbursement and use of this loan as well as all Covid-19 relief funds.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) calls on Finance Minister Tito Mboweni to:

Publish detailed monthly reports on the disbursement of Covid relief funds, how they are being spent, which companies are beneficiaries and who the directors of those companies are

Appear regularly before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Finance to table these reports and face rigorous scrutiny and oversight from MPs

Appoint a Special Inspector General for Covid-19 expenditure, with powers to interdict corruption before it happens, as the DA proposed in May. (access proposal here)

The IMF, in its statement last night, called on the government to ‘manage the IMF’s emergency financial assistance with full transparency and accountability’. This is a clear indication that ANC corruption is now an issue of international concern and embarrassment.

This corruption is a powerful reminder of why the ANC government must now rely on the IMF and why we will need a full-scale IMF bailout in the coming years unless there is major economic reform and real action on corruption.

The IMF’s executive board’s statement last night issued stark warnings to South Africa. Their statement stands in contrast to the non-committal waffle released by the National Treasury

The DA is committed to ensuring that the ANC is held accountable for the mismanagement and theft of public funds, and that our economy emerges from the current crisis and begins the long road to recovery, growth and job creation.

Issued by Geordin Hill-Lewis, DA Shadow Minister of Finance, 28 July 2020