S. Africa plans to strengthen spending on vaccines, job creation

In an effort to counter the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, South Africa announced plans on Wednesday to allocate $688 million for vaccines and over $750 million to improve youth jobs.

“This campaign allows us to emerge from the restrictions that we have experienced to economic activity,” said Tito Mboweni, finance minister, in a speech to parliament on the annual national budget.

According to Africanews, money is particularly short for the South African government as last year, GDP growth contracted 7.2% and the nation was already in the clenches of a recession before the pandemic struck.

However, the finance minister said the economy would rebound 3.4% this year.

“This year we face an exceptionally difficult balancing act,” said the Treasury.
“On one side is a raging pandemic … on the other side is a weak economy, with massive unemployment, that is burdened by ailing state-owned companies, the highest budget deficit in our history and rapidly growing public debt.”

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