South Africa’s president announced a multi-billion-dollar stimulus programme on Friday, earmarking funds for job creation and infrastructure development as he seeks to make good on a pledge to revive the country’s ailing economy.
Speaking a day after the central bank disappointed some in his ruling African National Congress (ANC) party by not cutting interest rates, Cyril Ramaphosa said the government needed to put the funds at its disposal to better use.
“We have to resort to reprioritising our budget,” Ramaphosa told reporters in Pretoria, adding that there was no room to increase spending or borrowing.
He said 50 billion rand ($3.5 billion) of “reprioritised expenditure and new project-level funding” would be used to boost economic growth and create jobs, and the government would also launch a 400 billion rand “medium-term” infrastructure fund.
“The central element of the economic stimulus and recovery plan is the reprioritisation of spending towards activities that have the greatest economic effect,” he said.