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.”