JOHANNESBURG, Oct 9 (Reuters) – South Africa is heading for a budget crisis by the 2024/25 fiscal year unless it addresses a widening gap between revenue and expenditure, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said on Friday.
At an emergency budget in June in response to the coronavirus crisis, Mboweni likened the country’s rising debt levels to a hippopotamus “eating our children’s inheritance”.
“A fiscal crisis is on its way by 2024/25 if we do not take serious measures to close the mouth of the hippopotamus,” Mboweni said in comments posted on the National Treasury’s Twitter account on Friday.
Africa’s most advanced economy was in recession before COVID-19 ravaged its economy, with the government’s strict lockdown imposed late in March putting major strain on businesses and households.
The lockdown dragged growth to its worst contraction ever in the second quarter and cost the economy over 2 million jobs.
“Estimates are that revenue