December 8, 2021

The biggest risks to South Africa right now

The South African Reserve Financial institution (SARB) has warned that a variety of points may influence the nation’s monetary stability over the medium time period, together with one other Covid-19 flare up and growing authorities debt.

The points kind a part of a threat framework included within the central financial institution’s newest monetary stability evaluation, which was printed on Wednesday (24 November). The SARB’s threat and vulnerability matrix (RVM) captures the first risks to monetary stability over a medium-term horizon.

These risks are recognized utilizing quantitative indicators in addition to a qualitative evaluation by the SARB.

The beneath graph depicts the RVM, with every block representing a specific threat. The color of the block represents the vulnerability of the monetary system to the chance after taking mitigating components into consideration.

Decrease vulnerability risks are ones the place the monetary system is comparatively properly positioned to take up a shock with no broader spillover of misery throughout the system. Larger vulnerability risks are ones which can be extra seemingly to lead to monetary instability if no additional mitigating actions are taken.

Covid-19 and vaccinations 

The influence of Covid-19 and the measures taken to include it have exacerbated pre-existing financial and monetary vulnerabilities in South Africa, the SARB stated.

“GDP growth was relatively weak in the years leading up to 2020, when Covid-19 struck. Following the impact of the pandemic, growth in real GDP fell by 6.4% in 2020, a considerably larger drop than the EM average of 2.2%, reflecting structural weaknesses in the domestic economy and strict lockdown measures. ”

The influence was to a bigger extent felt by lower-income people, the central financial institution stated.

Whereas vaccination charges in South Africa are slowly growing, the worldwide expertise with Covid -19 means that additional waves of an infection might happen even when a big share of the inhabitants is vaccinated, it stated.

“This suggests that companies in sectors hardest hit by the pandemic, similar to tourism, leisure and hospitality, may stay below stress within the close to time period.

“As a consequence, insurers may continue to face elevated levels of business interruption claims, and the banking sector may continue to experience higher-than-usual non-performing loans over the coming months.”


The current unrest may additionally dent the restoration and should additional weigh on funding prospects, the SARB stated.

“The domestic economic recovery is being supported by strong commodity exports and commodity prices, and increasing consumption expenditure. However, levels of fixed investment in South Africa have dropped to an 18-year low, which raises questions about the durability of the recovery and the growth potential of the economy over the longer term.”

The financial institution famous that the unrest has additionally brought about substantial injury to property, which can influence some companies’ potential to generate revenues and repair money owed, including to the burden of the continued Covid -19 restrictions confronted by companies.

“The recent unrest dissipated before becoming a direct financial stability threat. However, in the absence of faster and more equitable growth over the medium term, the risk of further unrest could intensify.”

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