Godongwana attends World Bank, IMF meetings

Finance Minister, Enoch Godongwana, has expressed concern at the slow progress of the G20 Common Framework (CF) for Debt Treatments.

The CF is meant to assist countries to respond to economic fragility, conflict and violence.

The Minister relayed his concern during the recent 2022 Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank Group (WBG), held from 18 – 23 April 2022.

The overarching theme of the IMF meetings was “The global economy under stress: Repercussions, response and resilience”.

The WBG meetings concentrated on “Investing in resilience, managing uncertainty: Helping countries build a greener, more inclusive future”.

Godongwana participated in the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), Development Committee (DC), G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors (FMCBG), G24 FMCBG, and South Africa’s constituency group meetings in both the WBG and the IMF.

On the CF, Godongwana said the countries were “disproportionately vulnerable” to growth shocks.

South Africa is concerned that the Common Framework is not assisting those in need.

During the meeting, Godongwana welcomed progress on the CF announced by the IMF Managing Director during the meetings.

The Minister engaged the leadership of the World Bank Group, mobilising support for specific sectors critical to reviving the South African economy.

“He affirmed South Africa’s commitment to deepening relations with Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). Minister Godongwana also used the Spring Meetings to hold bilateral meetings with U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, and WBG President David Malpass, where he impressed on them South Africa’s aforementioned policy positions,” said the Ministry of Finance in a statement on Monday.

Godongwana used the platforms to advance South Africa’s positions on several key areas and policy priorities.

The Russia – Ukraine conflict was a prominent issue.

He stressed that the most fruitful path to peace is through diplomacy and dialogue, and that South Africa remains committed to the principles of the UN Charter, namely that all UN Member States should settle their disputes through peaceful means.

The Ministry said: “The Minister also highlighted the economic impact of the conflict. South Africa and other African economies have been directly impacted through financial markets and inflationary pressures, resulting in sharp fuel and food price increases, at a time when these economies had not fully recovered from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

On environmental matters, Godongwana stressed South Africa’s commitment to address climate change based on science, equity and sustainable development. South Africa’s recently updated Nationally Determined Commitments (NDC) and emissions targets will require approximately US $4 billion annually by 2030 to meet adaptation and mitigation needs.

Godongwana explained that international concessional finance will be key to supporting the transition, especially in the electricity sector.

South Africa’s Presidential Climate Finance Task Team, recently established by President Cyril Ramaphosa, will advise the country on the execution of the “Just Energy Transition” (JET). The JET plan will ensure that the livelihoods of communities affected by the transition are secured. – SAnews.gov.za

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