situation report

South Africa: President Faces a Crucial Speech as Economic Woes Mount

1 MIN READJun 19, 2019 | 21:10 GMT

What Happened: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver his State of the Nation address on June 20 to lay out his agenda in light of his African National Congress' recent victory in national elections. In the buildup to the address, officials from the presidential office have signaled that additional financial support for Eskom, the country’s embattled utility giant, is being prepared, website Fin24 reported June 16.

Why it Matters: The South African economy, beset by a number of problems, shrunk by 3.2 percent in the first quarter of 2019. The speech will give Ramaphosa a critical platform as he tries to focus the public’s attention on the measures his administration plans to take to stimulate the economy, tackle pervasive corruption and prevent a credit downgrade that would result in a significant drop-off in investment. 

Background/Context: South Africa’s economy remains mired in the doldrums, tarnishing some of the excitement that Ramaphosa's rise to power engendered. Years of inefficient policy decisions have compounded slumping economic indicators and standards.

Read More:

South Africa's Election Will Be a Referendum on Pro-Business Policies (May 1, 2019)

How an Inefficient Power Provider Could Dim South Africa's Prosperity (Feb. 19, 2019)

South Africa: A Diplomatic Misunderstanding Highlights Pretoria's Problems With Corruption (Feb. 4, 2019)

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